Foodie forum will dine out on Bruges’ expert gastronomy

A reputation as an outstanding culinary destination has seen Bruges chosen as the host of the UNWTO World Forum on Gastronomy Tourism 2020.

Bruges is renowned as an epicentre of gastronomy. It is home to two reputed colleges – Spermalie and Ter Groene Poorte – training world-leading culinary talent. In 2019, no fewer than 32 Bruges chefs were recommended by Michelin, GaultMillau and Bibgourmand.

Flemish minister of Tourism Zuhal Demir says: “In 2020, gastronomy is coming back home. During the UNWTO World Forum on Gastronomy Tourism in Bruges, we want to show the world that this city offers countless eating opportunities. Nowhere else in the world do you find so many Michelin stars in such a limited area and nowhere in the world is the difference between the haute cuisine and the ‘ordinary’ gastronomy so negligible. We need to be more aware of that and we have to make sure that the whole world knows it, too.”

Some 500 Ministers of Tourism, chefs, entrepreneurs, producers, academia and stakeholders from the tourism and gastronomy industries are expected to attend the event at the Concertgebouw, 1- 4 June 2020.

“During this conference, local companies and hotel and catering schools will have the opportunity to exchange experiences with stakeholders from the gastronomy sector from all over the world. The sector will undoubtedly benefit from this,” adds Gert De Mangeleer, chef at L.E.S.S. by Hertog Jan in Bruges and co-owner of Michelin-starred restaurant Hertog Jan***, which closed its doors a year ago.

The theme for the 2020 edition is ‘Gastronomy Tourism: Promoting Rural Tourism and Regional Development’.

Zurab Pololikashvili, the Secretary-General of UNWTO, says: “As we celebrate the Year of Tourism and Rural Development, we are looking forward to meeting partners from all over the world in Bruges. We expect to exchange experiences and ideas about gastronomic tourism and find out how it can help preserve and promote local culture, and how it can act as a catalyst for job creation and sustainable growth.”

The Forum is organised by UNWTO and the Basque Culinary Centre (BCC) alternately in San Sebastian, Spain, and another host country. The event was won for Bruges through a bid supported by EventFlanders and the City of Bruges. 


(via Visit Bruges Convention Bureau)