The First European Forum of Gastronomical Tourism in Castellón and Valencia

Tuesday, 4 October 2016

         In the framework of its working group on Territorial Development, this year, PARTENALIA has decided to focus on Tourism - which accounts for 10% of the EU GDP - and more specifically gastronomical tourism. Indeed, although a very topical subject and a common practice amongst tourists visiting the EU, gastronomical tourism practices in the EU have yet to be discussed and shared by the local intermediate administrations responsible for promoting their territories as quality touristic destinations.

More and more Local Intermediate Authorities turn to "provincial branding", the practice of creating a brand out of a given territory, as a means to attract tourist by providing them with a clear idea of the touristic "products" and in particular the "cultural products" that is awaiting them when visiting the territory. Among these cultural products, we see a sharp increase in interest from tourists with regards to enjoying an authentic and local experience which most often includes the discovery of local gastronomy.

Based on this constatation, PARTENALIA Local Intermediate Authorities have had the opportunity to promote their gastronomical tourism initiatives during the First European Forum of Gastronomical Tourism which took place in the cities of Castellón de la Plana and Valencia on September, 29th and 30th. The President of Partenalia and of the Diputación de Castellón, Javier Moliner, thus presided over the forum and had the honor of presenting the great "chef" Quique Dacosta who came to bring his vision and insights as to the future of gastronomical tourism in Europe.

Jaén: Oleo tour Jaén : (visits to olive oil production sites)

Castellón: Castelló Ruta de Sabor (creating synergies between all actors and stakeholders of the gastronomical/food sector in the territory and connecting them with the consumers/tourists to offer a gastronomical tourism package )

Ourense: Sabores de Ourense  (Similar iniatives. Also with an award ceremony for gastronomical products)

Badajoz and Cáceres: Promotion of visits in the territory of the world-famous Ibérico ham production.

Valencia : Paella de Cullera : Contest for cooks with national coverage

Segovia: Saborea Segovia  

Sevilla: Ruta del arroz, Ruta del Aceite y Aceituna de mesa, Ruta gastronómica del Ibérico de la Sierra Norte de Sevilla, Vinos, Licores y Anisados, Ruta por la Repostería de la provincia

Province de Liège: Group Marketing/Commercialisation within an extended territory (spanning across 5 countries and 8 regions) with one central interlocutor "working" for the others - Creation of excursions and thematical trips including various visits to local producers (Beer, Chocolate, Vine, Peket, Snails, Cheese, Whisky, Syrup, Salting...) 

Province du Hainaut: Collinaria   Gastronomical festival which gathers 10 restaurants, 24 farmers and a catering school.

Province de Namur: Directory of local producers and farmers and promotion of gastronomical trips   


The event succeded in bringing attention to the need for a promotion of gastronomical tourism at the European-level as a distinguishing cultural feature which attracts many tourists both from and outside of the EU. PARTENALIA members will thus keep strengthening their working relationship with regards to gastronomical tourism by setting up a common European project for its promotion and development and set the example for further success stories.

As a follow up of the event, PARTENALIA will shortly release a guide of good practices in the field of gastronomical tourism implemented by its member Local Intermediate Administrations.