After several weeks of training, during which more than 150 projects leaders from all over Tunisia were able to optimize their assets and skills with a view to creating culinary and creative experiences, La Route Culinaire de Tunisie (Tunisia’s Culinary Journey)(*) reached its first validation phase with the organization of a series of technical visits carried out by the Creative Tourism Network®, in charge of implementing the Culinary and Creative Tunisia project.
Around a hundred visits were made throughout the country, particularly in the regions defined within the framework of the project, focusing on six flagship products: Cheese from the North-West, Harissa from Cap Bon, Olive Oil from the Centre and Dahar, Wine from the North, Dates from the South-West and Octopus from Kerkennah.
These visits highlighted the great diversity of local players involved in the Culinary Journey: farmers, associations and Agricultural Development Groups (GDA), guest houses and tables d’hôtes, and travel agents, among others.
Their tourist offers are built around experiences that invite tourists to participate in the fertilization of dates in the oasis cultures of the Southwest, to elaborate harissa, designated an Intangible Heritage by UNESCO in December 2022, to make their own olive oil in the underground oil mills of Djerba or Dahar, to learn all the secrets that make octopus fishing in Kerkennah so unique, to immerse themselves in the world of wine producers, or to elaborate cheeses in the heart of “Tunisian Switzerland”, to name but a few.
During these visits, those who had requested it were able to prototype, test and enrich their offers, putting them in perspective with the new demands of travelers – national and international – in search of authenticity and human values thanks to a year-round tourism offering.
Indeed, new tourism paradigms, accelerated by the pandemic, have highlighted Tunisia’s strengths in welcoming these new traveler profiles, and the relevance of a project like Tunisia’s Culinary Journey in recreating an ecosystem that can generate synergies between professionals from various sectors such as farmers, craftsmen, associative organizations, cultural players and creative industries, and of course, tourism, catering and hotel professionals.
Initiatives such as the eductour organized by the Fédération Tunisienne des Agences de Voyages et de Tourisme (Tunisian Federation of Travel and Tourism Agencies) on June 20 in the Siliana region, focusing on cultural and sustainable tourism, demonstrated the sector’s interest in providing this essential link in the diversification of the offer, and sealed the promise of fruitful future collaborations.
The Creative Tourism Network®, for its part, brings the experience of strategies of this type, developed on other continents, always with the same objective of rapidly and inclusively energizing destinations, in the perspective of the Agenda 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.
The next steps will be the creation of commercial files for each of the experiences created, and their international promotion, which will position these offers and Tunisia as a whole in these virtuous and booming tourist markets.
(*) About The Culinary Route of Tunisia:
This is a project developed within the “Promotion of Sustainable Tourism” program implemented by the Ministry of Tourism with the support of GIZ and jointly funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development ( BMZ) and by the European Union as part of its “Tounes Wijhetouna” program.
The Culinary Route of Tunisia is one of these thematic axes, the result of the collaboration between different institutions, national and international*, aimed at converting the Tunisian culinary heritage into creative experiences that can attract different profiles of tourists, throughout the year, and across the country.
By focusing on creative and thematic tourism, Tunisia is now becoming THE Mediterranean destination capable of attracting new generations of travelers in search of authenticity and human values.
By promoting regional and interregional dynamics, the Culinary Route aims to strengthen local economies in order to convert them into sustainable tourism poles and to position Tunisia among the most popular international destinations for its gastronomic heritage.