Italy since ages, has been popular for its deep cultural and social value most especially as it partakes to food. Now, there is need to rekindle the dying food culture of Italy we knew about, hence the declaration and campaign to make 2018 the year of Italian food in the world. According to the announcement made by the Roman ministers Maurizio Martina and Dario Franceschini during the Coldeiretti conference held to commemorate “Food and culture Breaks”, The Ministry of Food and Forestry Policies and the Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Tourism.
January 2018 woke to the social media campaign with a hashtag #museitaliani, this spread across websites especial that of the ministry of culture.
As a travel agent, it is important to not only know the recent events in Italy but to have the ability to give necessary information when need be to the travelers, and like I said this year is going to be one hell of an adventurous one in Italy. According to the minister, 40billion Euros was earned last year from exports in the food and art sector. The move was motivated after the death of Italy’s renowned chef Gualtiero Marchesi on December 26. Italy intends to use this food tourism as a way to draw huge investments into the country. Now, to show how important this is, the cultural minister Dario Franceschini had earlier stated,” make a big investment in the image of our country in the world”.
To foster the campaign, many events have been lined up this year to celebrate the Italian culture, most especially with regards to food and wine. These events according to the UNESCO list of intangible cultural heritage is among the top listed such as the Mediterranean diet, the landscapes of Langhe Roero and Monferrato, Neopolitan pizza, Parma’s gastronomic culture, the Pantelleria vine and so on. The main purpose of these activities is to fight food waste, other lined up activities include events to recognize the pasta Amatriciana and prosecco bubbly wine and a list of other local items which will be launched as tourist attractions. The unique food/art relationship will be showcased as a centerpiece of attraction geared towards promoting tourism by national tourism agency ENIT and the various Italian embassy all over the world, this indeed is a year to show the world how much food Italy has. “We have a unique heritage worldwide which, thanks to the year dedicated to food, we will be able to promote even more,” Italian Minister of Food and Forestry Policies Maurizio Martina said. The aim of this year’s food festival is to achieve food safety, quality and maintain a long-standing tradition as a means to foster agricultural processes such as fishing, farming and other unique skills of both large, medium and small-scale Italian producers.
It is no news travelers love the Italian cuisine. Also, there is great demand from other countries with regards to large scale supply of traditional Italian meals, this has greatly increased the income generated from exports to over 38 billion euros according to the Mipaaf general report. Recent reports show a tremendous increase in demand and this indirectly puts Italy at the top of the table in terms of excellence in the world.
To celebrate the 2018 year of Italian food, the ministry of tourism through Dario Franceschini has laid out definitive plans and initiatives such as the conceptual tourist routes dedicated to taking tourist around the food industry/venues, boosting the standards of the food fair venues with traditional Italian products and last but not the least the Mibact-Coldiretti protocol. Dario in his speech said, “As 2016 has been the national year of the walks, and this year is the national year of the villages, 2018 will be the year of Italian food. It will be a way to give value to the many and extraordinary Italian excellence, making a great investment for the image of our country in the world. Italy must foster overseas in an integrated and intelligent way: enhancing and promoting the interplay between food and landscape is definitely a useful tool for this goal.”
The question is, how can travel agents be certain travelers will buy this? The answer is not far-fetched, statistically, 46.31 million American have visited Italian restaurants in the last one year. Over 9.7billion u.s dollars has been spent on pizza delivery services .pasta and rice, well know Italian food has a wide range of varieties in 2016 the sale of frozen pasta in the U.S amounted to 351.7million U.S dollars. If such figures can be achieved in foreign countries, how much more in Italy itself.
To aid spread the news faster, gain large tourists and start an early awareness a campaign on social media under the hashtag #annodelciboitaliano on the @museitaliani Instagram account, focusing on typical Italian gourmet dishes, a tactical approach duly needed.