Istanbul is set to host the opinion leaders of the global food and beverage industry on March 12 with the aim of generating $10 billion in the gastronomy industry by 2020.
The Global Gastroeconomy Summit will be held this year for the second time with the support of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism and the Ministry of Trade. During the summit, opinion leaders of the world food and beverage industry and professionals will discuss gastroeconomy, the economy of food and beverage.
The size of the Turkish food and beverage market exceeded TL 100 billion in 2018, while the number of restaurants, cafes, bars, fast food restaurants and patisseries in the market is approximately 95,000. Also, the industry provides jobs to 2 million people.
Kaya Demirer, Chairman of the Association of Tourism Restaurant Investors and Gastronomy Enterprises, the architect of the summit, said that initial data reveals that tourism figures in 2019 will exceed the ones in 2018. "We expect that not only the number of tourists will rise, but also per capita tourist spending will exceed last year's $647," he said. Underlining that they expect a 25 percent increase in the gastronomy industry in 2019, Demirer stated that gastronomy tourism revenues will reach $10 billion by 2020.
Speaking of the importance of the gastroeconomy for Turkey, he said, "Gastronomy is one of the most effective ways to promote our cultural wealth and bringing cultural values into the economy in a rapid way. The promotion of cultural content of rich cuisine, which was handed down to us by the cultures that lived in this geography and which has continued for generations, and the conversion of it to current dynamics is the most concrete yield for us."
Currently, gastronomy tourism has a 16 percent share of overall tourism revenues with $5 billion. The aim of gastronomy tourism is to achieve the same level of accommodation revenues as the countries we are competing with. In the first stage, the target is $10 billion for our country.
Demirer stressed that two regions are particularly featured in Turkey's gastronomy tourism, "No product can be marketed without a story. What we call ‘The Faith Tourism Corridor' starts in Tarsus and extends to Hatay, Gaziantep, Şanlıurfa and Mardin. The second one is the Aegean route; the formation of the Ayvalık-Bodrum olive oil route; healthy nutrition in Çeşme and Urla in the northern Aegean region; wine-vineyard route, festivals, and seafood rich regions," he explained.
A total of 10 foreign speakers and 27 Turkish speakers will participate in the summit. Some of the speakers who will deliver speeches at the summit which will host seasons in various subjects are as follows: David Hertz, the Leader of the Global Social Gastronomy Movement. Levantine Public Diplomacy Executive Director Paul Rockower will deliver a speech titled "The New Place of Gastro-diplomacy in State Branding."