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Bahrain to Host 9th UNWTO World Forum on Gastronomy Tourism in 2024

Bahrain to Host 9th UNWTO World Forum on Gastronomy Tourism in 2024

The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) has chosen Bahrain as the host for the ninth UNWTO World Forum on Gastronomy Tourism in 2024, marking this event as the world’s largest gathering dedicated to gastronomy tourism.

This announcement serves as a testament to Bahrain’s exceptional capabilities in the realm of tourism and entertainment, solidifying its position as a leading gastronomy and gourmet destination in the Middle East.

The UNWTO’s decision was made public during the 8th World Forum on Gastronomy Tourism, held in San Sebastian, Spain, from October 5 to 7. This event was organized by the World Tourism Organization and its Affiliate Member, the Basque Culinary Centre (BCC), with the goal of fostering the exchange of expertise in tourism and gastronomy, identifying best practices, and promoting gastronomy tourism as a key factor in destination development.

The Bahrain Tourism and Exhibitions Authority (BTEA) will be responsible for hosting the 9th UNWTO World Forum on Gastronomy Tourism in 2024 at Exhibition World Bahrain in Sakhir. This venue is not only the Middle East’s newest but also one of the largest convention and exhibition centers in the region.

This prestigious international recognition underscores the visionary approach of the Ministry of Tourism and BTEA in striving for innovation and excellence in gastronomy tourism on a global scale. It aims to enhance Bahrain’s competitiveness in international conventions and exhibitions, raise awareness about its rich food and beverage culture, and collaborate to elevate gastronomy tourism globally, positioning the Kingdom as a sought-after destination for gourmet and gastronomy enthusiasts worldwide. This direction aligns with the objectives of the Tourism Strategy 2022-2026, which seeks to transform Bahrain into a leading regional and global tourism hub.

“We are very pleased to bring the Forum to the Middle East for the first time. As this region experiences rapid growth in tourism, we are excited to showcase Bahrain’s rich heritage and the unique spirit of sharing embedded in its gastronomy—a driving force behind inclusive tourism development,” stated Zurab Pololikashvili, Secretary-General of UNWTO.

Dr. Nasser Qaedi, CEO of BTEA, expressed his pride and honor at this significant recognition.

“Bahrain takes pride in its diverse culinary traditions that reflect its rich heritage and make it an enticing destination for food enthusiasts and culinary tourists. This prestigious event will serve as an ideal platform to present innovative solutions for advancing gastronomy tourism, highlighting the Kingdom’s exceptional gourmet and culinary experiences rooted in its rich heritage, crossroads of civilizations and cultures, culinary diversity, and reputation for diverse flavors. These aspects will contribute positively to diversifying the tourism product and increasing inbound tourism,” he added.

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