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What's cooking in Italian gastronomy?

In case you haven't come across it yet, there is a great annual report on the Italian food and wine tourism market produced by my friend Roberta Garibaldi, President of the Italian Enogastronomic Tourism Association.

The report is in Italian, but Roberta is planning to produce some English language material as well in the near future. The 2023 edition was lauched in Rome yesterday, and contains figures from Roberta's regular surveys of Italian consumers as well as guest contributions from gastronomic experts. Perhaps one of the least surprising findings from the research is that Italians are avid gastronomic tourists, with 92% seeking out gastronomic experiences in 2021 - almost back to pre-Covid levels. The report shows a strong growth in gastronomic tourism in Italy between 2016 and 2023, with demand up 37%. The top 3 Italian gastronomic destinations are Sicily (46%), Emilia-Romagna (44%) and Campania (40%).

Strong gastronomic tourism demand is also being met by the development of gastronomic products and experiences around the world. One sign of this is the increase in Intangible Cultural Heritage designations by UNESCO. Countries are now actively vying to have their gastronomy or specific disches or food customs listed in a bid to grow tourism. Traditions listed by UNESCO to date include the Mediterranean Diet, pizza, borscht and harissa. An analysis of the listings in my contribution to the report indicates that Azerbaizan and Turkey head the UNESCO rankings with three designations each.

You can download the whole report from Roberta's website:

For an English version of my analysis of the use of UNESCO intangible heritage designations, see:

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