Justin N. Froyd - Nov 28, 2016
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Colombian authorities came up with a new way of attracting more visitors – by promoting their rich cuisine and typical dishes. The emphasis on gastro tourism is the new marketing  strategy announced by the Ministry of Commerce at the Caribbean Food and Rum Festival.

The aim is to attract more foreign tourists with egg-stuffed arepas, paisa platter, corn pudding, fried ants, and other authentic Colombian delicacies.

At the festival, the ministry presented a list of dishes that make up the national gastronomic offering and the calendar of activities taking place in the country throughout the year, to promote local flavors, energize the economy of the different communities, and to boost tourism in Colombia.

According to the ministry, Colombian cuisine has a great variety of foods and dishes due to the diversity of products found in the different regions. All this added to the provincial traditions and the 48 culinary events that take place throughout the country, represents a potential for the development of gastro tourism.

These events include the National Gastronomic Congress of Popayán, the Black Pacific Gastronomic Festival of Nuquí (Chocó), the Caribbean Islands Gastronomic Festival in San Andrés, and the Bogota Wine and Food Festival. The 48 gastro tourism shows and festivals make up the Network of Significant Gastronomic Events in Colombia.

"Colombian gastronomy is a product that could have a significant impact on the tourist development of the regions," said María Claudia Lacouture, Minister of Commerce, Industry and Tourism, who issued an invitation to rediscover traditional flavors.

The strategy also includes education and training, business development and promotion.

Colombia also has a wide range of restaurants, four of which are among the best 50 in Latin America: Leo Espinosa’s Leo Cocina y Cava (16th place), the Rausch brothers’ Criterion (29th place), Harry Sasson (40th) and Andrés Carne de Res (49th place).

In addition, the country was chosen to host Latin America's 50 Best Restaurants for 2017 and 2018, with the support of the Corazón Verde Foundation.

Bogotá, Cali, Medellín, Cartagena and Santa Marta are some of the country’s main gastronomic destinations, with a wide and interesting offering of predominantly local packages. But there are also first-rate restaurants, with sophisticated facilities, that offer the best in international cuisine. Gastro tourism in Colombia has a great potential according to the ministry which is now to be utilized.

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