During the 5th edition of the UNWTO World Forum on Gastronomy Tourism in San Sebastian in 2019, Flanders, together with the city of Bruges, was officially presented as a guest destination for the 6th edition of the summit in 2020.
The Forum is organised annually by UNWTO and the Basque Culinary Centre (BCC), alternately in San Sebastian, Spain and another host country. Each year, the Forum brings together different Ministers of Tourism, chefs, entrepreneurs, producers, representatives from academia and other stakeholders from the tourism and gastronomy sector.
We are very proud to be able to bring this culinary top conference to Bruges thanks to the joint efforts of EventFlanders and the City of Bruges.
Flemish Minister of Tourism Zuhal Demir formulates it as follows: "In 2020, gastronomy will return home. During the UNWTO World Forum on Gastronomy Tourism in Bruges, we want to show the whole world that you can enjoy and relax at every table and every bar with us. Nowhere else in the world will you find so many Michelin stars on such a limited surface and nowhere else in the world will the difference between star cuisine and 'ordinary' gastronomy be so negligible. We need to be more aware of this and we need to make sure the whole world knows".
Mayor Dirk De fauw: "Some 500 people from all corners of the world are expected to attend. This shows once again that congresses are the ideal way to put Bruges on the map worldwide. A lot of congress attendees will get a taste of the good atmosphere in our city, and hopefully come back to Bruges with their families".
The congress will take place from 1 to 4 June 2020 in the Concertgebouw. The theme for the 2020 edition will be 'Gastronomy Tourism: Promoting Rural and Regional Development'. "This is certainly an interesting topic for Bruges and all local gastronomy partners", says alderman for work and enterprise Pablo Annys. "During this two-day congress, local companies and our hotel schools will be able to exchange experiences with gastronomic stakeholders from all over the world, which is a fantastic opportunity for the sector", dixit Gert De Mangeleer, Chef of L.E.S.S. by Hertog Jan in Bruges and co-owner of star restaurant Hertog Jan*** that closed its doors last year.
According to the Secretary-General of UNWTO, Zurab Pololikashvili, "Bruges is not only a fantastically beautiful city with an incredible history, but it is also a high quality culinary destination". This is precisely why, according to him, it is the perfect host city for the 6th edition of the World Forum on Gastronomy Tourism. "During the Year of Tourism and Rural Development, we look forward to meeting partners from all over the world in Bruges, exchanging experiences and new ideas on gastronomic tourism and seeing how it can help to preserve and promote the local culture and how it can be a catalyst for job creation and sustainable development".