Chios: Tourists will have a special culinary experience on September 3

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More and more destinations in the country include gastronomy, a key component of promoting and visibility to attract tourists, and with this in mind, the North Aegean Region is supporting a culinary event in Chios with the parallel promotion of local products.

In particular, within the framework of the 2nd Medieval Festival of Chios, an effort is being made alongside the rich cultural character of Chios to showcase the culinary wealth of the island through a themed event on Chios gastronomy, which will take place in Mesta on Sunday, September 3.

Thus, a "Medieval bazaar" will be organised in Meston Square with local products and a gastronomy event with local cooks, the Greek chef, and the presenter of cooking television shows, Argyro Barbarigou, Travel reported.

According to the planning so far, the curation and presentation of the entire event will be done by Mrs Barbarigou, who will present the Medieval bazaar in Mesta and will display it on the social media that she maintains to highlight local products, the support of producers and promotion of the island's traditional recipes to the general public.

Traditional forgotten recipes of Chios, with local products of the island, will be cooked by locals and will be presented to the public in this thematic event of the 2nd Medieval Festival, in a warm atmosphere of celebration and hospitality, just like the hospitable people of Chios welcome guests at their home.

The aim is to support local producers, highlight the gastronomy of Chios, promote local products and record the Chios cooking recipe. In this way, the gastronomy of the place acquires continuity, and most importantly, it becomes an institution for the island and a pole of attraction for culinary tourism.

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Agri-food and processing products (ouzo, liqueurs, spoon sweets, dairy products, soaps, candles, etc.) are inextricably linked to local traditions. They are an essential part of the tourist experience in the Northern Aegean to the extent that the islands' gastronomy contributes to the enrichment and quality upgrade of the tourist product, promoting local products is linked to tourism promotion, strengthening the destination's brand.

As an example, the case of mastic is mentioned for Chios, with the inclusion of mastic cultivation in the list of UNESCO's intangible cultural heritage and its display in the Mastic Museum, oil for Mytilini with the corresponding Museums - Olive Mills, wine for Samos, Lemnos and Ikaria, ouzo, dairy products, etc. which are essential elements of the culinary map of the North Aegean, and integral components of its touristic image.

Based on the above, the Region is attempting to connect the promotion of local products with tourism promotion and the pursuit of synergies. In this context, the organisation of the 5th Lesvos Food Fest, held in Lesvos, was recently supported.

Heraklion leads the way.

Heraklion, Crete, is another destination that is important to Gastronomy. As an example, the organisation of the Heraklion Gastronomy Festival is mentioned.

As part of the Festival, events and actions are held that contribute to the stimulation of the local economy with an emphasis on agricultural production, the promotion of local products and business activities that are in line with the intangible cultural heritage and the establishment of Heraklion as a gastronomic tourist destination.

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Gastrodiplomacy in Veria

Another destination that has included gastronomy in the actions to attract tourists and highlight local products is Veria, considering the successful model of Bordeaux and Tuscany.

The aim of the movement of the Municipality of Veria entitled Gastrodiplomacy and the drafting of a study for this purpose is the recording of local products and recipes of the identity of the destination and the creation of the Veria gastronomy menu.

The first phase of the action is identifying local gastronomy and including local dishes and products in local businesses. The second phase of the action is the promotion of the companies that will participate in the first phase of the action and will be certified and promoted as ambassadors, the creation of e-books, and presentations at international exhibitions.

The gastronomy diplomacy of the Municipality of Veria wishes to use flavours to increase the awareness of the cultural specificity of a place and, in this way, to promote it inside and outside the Greek space.

A first step was recently taken with organising a relevant meeting organised by the Municipality and attended by business operators and professionals from the catering and tourism sectors.

Experiences of culinary interest are gaining ground among the international tourist audience.

According to a recent study by diaNEOsis, culinary experiences absorb a significant share of visitor spending. At the same time, younger generations emphasise culinary experiences as a critical factor in choosing a destination.

Emphasis is also placed on "foodies" as travellers seek personalised services based on their particularities. In any case, an established culinary identity facilitates the strategic planning of a country's culinary tourism. However, there is a need to clarify how pure national gastronomy is defined in Greece.

Finally, Destination Management Organizations (DMOs) are leading strategies in many countries to link the sectors and develop culinary tourism.

READ MORE: The Enchanted Greek Islands: Must-See Gems For 2023.

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