Japan is a destination for gastronomy. The Japan National Tourism Organisation (JNTO) presented Japan as a gastronomy tourism destination at the 7th United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) World Forum on Gastronomy Tourism held in Nara, Japan, from 12 to 15 December 2022. Over 450 delegates from 30 countries and over 1,000 online in 125 countries, including stakeholders in the food and tourism sectors attended the forum.
“This year’s Forum represents a unique opportunity for experts to share their best practices and enhance the role of gastronomy tourism in talent, sustainability, innovation, and social inclusion, and highlight its importance for regional and rural development.”UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili
At the Forum, JNTO presented information on destinations across Japan where visitors can explore the depth of food culture. The host prefecture of Nara is said to be one of the birthplaces of Japanese food culture and the use of ingredients such as sake and dashi (a broth that is made with dried bonito flakes, kombu seaweed and shiitake mushrooms).
In a panel discussion on Japanese gastronomy tourism moderated by JNTO Executive Vice President Rieko Nakayama, experts in food, sake brewing, and tourism shared best practices. “JNTO uses food as a hook for inbound tourism promotion as it is one of the main motivations for overseas tourists to visit Japan,” she explained. “This panel discussion was very informative from various perspectives, including the fact that the success of gastronomy tourism depends vitally on collaboration among local stakeholders, such as restaurants, sake brewers, farmers, accommodation facilities, and hot springs operators. Developing people with the necessary skills is essential too. We also learned that local cuisine, if strategically branded, can help to improve the brand value of the region itself.”
A “Programme feature on the appeal of gastronomy tourism in Japan” will be broadcasted by NHK WORLD JAPAN on https://catchjapan.jp.
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