Bangkok, 1 June, 2018 – The 4th UNWTO World Forum on Gastronomy Tourism ended today with rousing words of appreciation for the warmth and hospitality of the Thai hosts and a strong commitment to advance the culinary and cultural agenda across the ASEAN and Asia-Pacific regions.
Held for the first time in Asia, from 30 May to 1 June, 2018, the Forum was organised by the UN World Tourism Organisation, the Basque Culinary Centre with the support of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) and Thailand’s Ministry of Tourism and Sports. The 588 delegates heard from a diverse range of expert speakers from chefs, restaurateurs, consultants and professors to marketing and technological gurus.
They also enjoyed a wide variety of Thai cuisine at grassroots and fine-dining restaurants, local marketplaces and street vendors. Senior officials who attended the forum included UNWTO Secretary-General Mr. Zurab Pololikashvili, Tourism Minister of Jamaica Mr. Edmund Bartlett, Mr. Joxe Mari Aizega, Director, Basque Culinary Center and PATA CEO Mr. Mario Hardy.
In their wrap-up sessions, delegates stressed that gastronomy tourism needs to be promoted across the Asia-Pacific region through creative story-telling, supportive policies and improved training. As such, gastronomy tourism could play a major role by advancing the cause of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
Mr. Yuthasak Supasorn, TAT Governor, said: “We are indeed proud to be the first country in Asia to host this historic event. It has been an eye-opening learning experience for all of us. It has cemented the strong bonds between travel & tourism on one hand, and agriculture and cuisine on the other.
“The creativity, ideas and energetic presentations have helped raise the entire industry to a new level and will go a long way towards meeting our common objectives of alleviating poverty,…