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FIBEGA Miami 2019—a global gastronomy tourism fair—is about to add even more sizzle to hot Miami when it opens its doors May 10 at the newly redesigned Miami Beach Convention Center. Showcasing a lineup of renowned speakers and exhibitors that range from destinations, and hoteliers, to restaurateurs and producers, the 3-day event, which runs through May 12, aims to showcase gastronomy tourism experiences around the world.

“FIBEGA is the first International fair dedicated to gastronomy tourism,” says Roi Correa, president of FIBEGA. “At this present moment, there is no other fair that is solely focused on the gastronomy importance of promoting, selling and experiencing a destination. Many travelers in the United States market are heavily motivated by gastronomy experiences and according to data from the United Nations World Travel Organization (UNWTO), it counts for over 24 million people. They are a more demanding traveler, who spends more and in addition to gastronomy also invests in culture and shopping. FIBEGA Miami’s objective is to support and develop this sector and continue to expand as a leader in this emerging market.”

Correa adds that Miami was the chosen destination for this year’s edition of the fair because the city is “a center point due to its air connections with the world, especially with Latin America, Africa and Europe. It’s an important part of the outbound U.S. market and gastronomically is one of the most vibrant cities in North America.”

The first day of FIBEGA Miami 2019, May 10, will be dedicated for trade professionals in the sector allowing for networking and dedicated panel discussions including “Gastronomy Tourism: Challenges and Opportunities,” “The Role of Retail in an Effective Tourism Strategy,” “Accommodations and Customer Experience: Heightening the Gastronomy Experience,” and “The Challenge of Commercialization.” Professionals can register following this link.

“Travel agents play a fundamental role in tourism and especially in the sector of gastronomy tourism. These are very personal experiences and the recommendation of an agent that has experienced it is a key element in promoting a destination. Images and video can attract but the actual experiences of taste, smells and sensations can only be transmitted by someone who has lived that experience.” — Roi Correa, President, FIBEGA

May 11 and 12 will be open to ticket holders as well as industry professionals who can tour the show to try authentic gastronomy offerings from exhibitors such as Macau, Valencia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Morocco, Colombia, Spain, Guatemala, Brazil and many other destinations. Guests can engage in discussions featuring industry experts and influencers. Saturday will be dedicated to the congress “New Technologies in Gastronomy Tourism,” which was created with support of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) & Basque Culinary Center. The fair will conclude on May 12th with an International Meeting of Chefs.

“FIBEGA Miami 2019,” says Correa, “gathers exhibiting destinations countries, regions and cities from around the globe, as well as private companies, airlines, travel agencies, tour operators and companies related to gastronomy tourism. As our first time in Miami, our objective is to create awareness and excitement in this exciting sector. We expect over 5,000 attendees between professionals and the general public. Our aim is to provide a solid meeting place for trade professionals and business networking within the gastronomy tourism sector, while offering a rewarding experience to the general public and promoting the discovery of new destinations and gastronomy from unknown cultures.”

Correa points to the emerging sector of wine tourism in areas like Mendoza, Argentina or Chile, which, he says, “are also growing in the ‘new world’ of wine. In Asia, destinations like Macau are being discovered where you find a vibrant mix of Asian and Portuguese cuisine. Many destinations have recognized their potential to further promote via their gastronomy offerings and this opens a new world of possibilities for both the destination and the traveler.”

Correa adds that “gastronomy has always been at the heart of travel and tourism. We all like to eat great food, especially when we travel. In the past years, knowledge and interest in gastronomy has significantly grown, and there is an immense curiosity in experiencing the culture and heritage of destinations around the globe. It is no longer enough to ‘eat well,’ consumers are searching to take their experience further by knowing what they eat, the origin of the product, the history of the dish, they want to have a deeper connection with the places they visit. Gastronomy tourism provides this link.”

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