With the aim of promoting and elevating Kenya as a gastro-tourism destination unlike no other, The Ministry of Tourism held a consultative meeting with major stakeholders in the hospitality and tourism industry earlier today and resolved to send a team of top Kenyan Chefs to the 3rdUNWTO World Forum in San Sebastian Spain. The team, made up of Kenya’s best and brightest Chefs, will showcase the country’s unique and varied culinary taste to the world at the Forum which takes place on 8th and 9th of May 2017.
The meeting, held at the Ministry of Tourism headquarters at Teleposta Towers, was chaired by the Tourism Permanent Secretary Madam Fatuma Hirsi Mohamed. In attendance, were some of the leading Hotels in the country including the Tamarind Group, Sarova Hotels and Hemingways. Tourism and Hospitality associations were represented by Kenya Chefs Association and International Hotel and Tourism Institute(IHTI). Government parastatals were represented by Utalii College as Go Places Kenya and Chefs Delight represented the Tourism and Hotel industry media and marketing stakeholders.
The meeting resolved to form a sub-committee to steer the planning and logistics of having Kenyan Chefs showcase a selection of the best Kenya cuisine at the 3rd UNWTO World Forum on Gastronomy. The committee also resolved to form a gastronomy tourism association to champion gastro-tourism development in Kenya tapping into the growing attraction of Gastronomy tourism that has so far remained untapped.
Speaking at the meeting, the PS Madam Fatuma Hirsi Mohamed emphasized the need to inform the world of Kenya’s diverse tourist attractions that now include the packaging and presentation of exceptional Kenyan tastes that are abundant in its traditional foods and culture. She went on to mention the opportunities that Gastronomy, the essence of culture and a major element of intangible heritage, present to the country. This will be the first time that Kenya will showcase its culinary cuisine to the world having previously only participated in the event.
The Gastronomy Network is a forum in which experts, destination management organizations, academics, a wide variety of private sector stakeholders and Member States can work together to promote and shape the future of the Gastronomy Tourism sector, providing the ideal forum for public-private collaboration. The UNWTO Gastronomy Network was officially launched in September 2015 during the General Assembly held in Medellin, Colombia.
Like the 1st and 2nd World fora on Gastronomy Tourism, this forum will provide an opportunity for leading experts in gastronomy tourism to discuss the current situation and challenges in Gastronomy Tourism worldwide. Areas of management, the organization of events and innovation in channels of communication will be discussed, in order to boost the professional development of the sector. Thus, the need for Kenya to be well represented in this year’s forum.