October 08, 2018
Slovenia has just been officially given the title of European Region of Gastronomy (ERG) 2021 by the International Institute of Gastronomy, Culture, Arts and Tourism (IGCAT), recognition of the efforts of local producers, chefs and tourist industry figures in working to make the country a top gastronomic destination for boutique, five-star experiences focused on sustainability.
The award is a key achievement of the 2017–2021 Strategy for the Sustainable Growth of Slovenian Tourism project (PDF), which defines gastronomy as one of the ten leading tourist products of the nation, and one that can help in both leading visitors to some of the less trafficked parts of the country, as well as help promote tourism in all four seasons.
As the Director of the Slovenian Tourist Board, Maja Pak, noted:
Slovenia has many resources and opportunities to become an even better and more popular destination, with a prominent place on the world map of culinary travellers. It’s rich tradition, modern gastronomic products based on innovative approaches, exceptional individuals such as gourmet chefs, local organic produce and high-profile and unique events, such as the World Bee Day, constitute a remarkable story about Slovenian food and drink, which is becoming increasingly more visible and appreciated outside its borders. At the same time, this prestigious award represents an obligation for further development and promotion of our country as a boutique and globally recognised top gastronomic destination. The Slovenian Tourist Board has been incorporating gastronomy in its marketing and promotional activities for over 22 years. Gastronomy is our new 2020–2021 biannual marketing topic, which will replace the topic of culture.
The title was given at an event in Brussels on Monday, which will conclude later in the day with a banquet of dishes from around the country.
Slovenia is the first country in Europe to have obtained the title, as to date it has only been given to specific regions, going to Catalonia (Spain) and Minho (Portugal) in 2016, Aarhus (Denmark), East Lombardy (Italy) and Riga-Gauja (Latvia) in 2017, Galway (Ireland) and North Brabant (the Netherlands) in 2018, Sibiu (Romania) and the South Aegean (Greece) in 2019, and Kuopio (Finland) in 2020.