Gastro-tourism a tantalising segment for Japan: UNWTO report

A stall selling yakitori (skewered chicken) in Kyoto

The UNWTO, Japan Travel and Tourism Association (JTTA) and restaurant finder Gurunavi have together released a new UNWTO Report on gastronomy tourism in Japan.

Entitled Gastronomy Tourism: The Case of Japan, the publication includes 18 different case studies of successful gastronomy tourism in the country. Each case study in the publication highlights the increase in popularity of gastronomy tourism, and features initiatives such as Japan’s first restaurant train and reimagined local sake breweries.

A stall selling yakitori (skewered chicken) in Kyoto

Research carried out for the report found that 38 per cent of Japan’s prefectures include or plan to include gastronomy tourism in their future plans, while 42 per cent of municipalities reported that they already have examples of gastronomy tourism-related activities. The report also highlights the high level of public-private collaboration within gastronomy tourism.

Although the concept of gastronomy tourism in Japan is relatively new, this report reveals that gastronomy tourism has brought about economic benefits and can be a tool for development and social inclusion.

“As more and more travellers search for the unique experiences of local gastronomy, the promotion of gastronomy tourism has moved towards a central position in tourism development and its potential contribution to the sustainable development goals,” said Zurab Pololikashvili, UNWTO’s secretary-general.

“Through various successful examples of gastronomy tourism in Japan, this report shows how the country has achieved turning gastronomy tourism into a tool for development, inclusion and regional integration.”

The report can be downloaded here.

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