The Gastronomy and Tourism Research Group has long discussed the relationship between food and tourism, and more recently how food is an integral part of the tourist experience. During the meetings of the last few years, different topics were addressed, such as the connection between tradition and innovation, what is traditional food, what is authentic or real when it comes to gastronomy, among others.
The Covid19 pandemic has abruptly changed all scenarios, altering many aspects of our daily lives and, above all, in the tourism sector. The theme of the 2021 meeting proposes a reflection on what changes in relation to food and tourism have taken place due to this situation. Which of these changes are transient and which are expected to remain?
Changes may affect many different issues related to food tourism, but widely they can be grouped into three areas: the ones that affect service providers, the ones that affect food production and consumption, and the ones that affect habits (both related to eating and travelling). What have been the answers by those responsible for the tourism and food sectors globally in the face of the challenges posed by Covid19? What concrete initiatives represent cases of good practice to deal with the situation? How have our diet and eating habits changed since the pandemic? Will people still feel safe while eating in restaurants? How have eating habits changed? As the agri-food sector has achieved new prominence, is the globalisation of food still a realty? Will people consume more local products and opt for traditional meals or a variation of it? Has the lockdown increased the potential for a resurgence in local gastronomy? Has the lockdown stimulated more 0km eating? Are these situations having an impact on tourists’ eating habits? How will these changes affect the future of tourism? What challenges are we facing?