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Sustainability and Gastronomy
  • May 2017

Food and wine are the major components of a destination experience. Either a FIT or family leisure travelers, gastronomy is an integral part of their vacation. No vacation will not complete, without tasting the mouth watering dishes of any known or unknown destination at anywhere in the world.

From time immemorial, gastronomy is a major component of history, tradition and identity across the world. Throughout the world gastronomy has also become a major motivation to visit a destination. Food and Wine tourism always offers enormous potential in stimulating local, regional and national economies and enhancing sustainability and inclusion of a responsible destination.

Modern day Gastronomy Tourism, touching on various issues such as tradition, culture, seasonality, training and innovation, ICT-related initiatives and wine-related itineraries of a place.  The recent studies stresses that in terms of tourist motivations, experiencing gastronomy is now at a similar level to visiting a museum, enjoying music and admiring the architecture of a destination. In this sense, gastronomy tourism has strong potential to improve destination management, promote cultures and contribute to other sectors such as agriculture and food manufacturing.

The commitment of gastronomy tourism towards the principles of sustainability has been one of the conclusions of the UNWTO Forum held in San Sebastian recently. This includes areas such as poverty reduction, efficient use of resources, environmental protection and climate change, and the protection of cultural values, heritage and diversity.

The engagement of the traveller in these principles through his or her gastronomic experience in a destination and the need to develop appropriate policy measures and a strong governance framework in this direction is very much required in India and her states without delay. The taste and variety of Indian cuisine can provide an unforgettable gastronomy experience to a tourist. India has thousand of food styles and cultures across the sub continent. The tiny state of Kerala in South has already explored the possibilities of gastronomic trails to positioning the destination to Sustainable Tourism model. Each part of the state has different style of food cultures, which ranges from Mappila Cuisines of Malabar region to Syrian Christian culinary marvels from Backwaters of Kerala to Traditional Kerala Sadhya of Hindu families.   The varieties of breakfast and main dishes from Tamil Nadu or Spicy meals of Andhra and Konkan food of Karnataka are also attracting many foreign tourists to their destinations. Indian foods cultures has a unique style of adaptation which includes the vegetarian dishes from South to North and Jains and Non vegetarian food varieties from Kerala to Kashmir through the planes and hills of Hyderabad plateau to Garo Hills of Assam to Mugal and Jaipur cuisines of North India. 

In the North and Eastern part of India has also many mouthwatering dishes to conquer the minds of tourists. But for the best of the food and wine experience, the policy of the governments must acts to cater the needs of the guest and hosts. The freedom to select the food and wine as per our taste is a must for the development of the destinations. Unfortunately the recent development from various parts of our country is not in a line of tourism and travel experiences. India has many different cultures and food styles which is evolved through centuries.  The union between gastronomy and tourism provides therefore a platform to revitalize cultures, to preserve tangible and intangible heritage, to empower communities and to enhance intercultural understanding. These aspects were particularly tackled at policy level and introduce new level of practical things such as a cooking class and farm-to-table dining experiences. 

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