GASTUR Promotion of local gastronomy
Topic of the practice
Small-scale food producers supported by accessing new markets.
Good Practice Information
GASTUR shows how small-scale food producers can be assisted in accessing new markets and can enable visitors to experience the local cuisine on the farms where the food is produced.
The goals were to increase regional tourist products around locally produced food and culture, to include an inventory of currently existing small-scale food producers in the county, to review their status as potential tourism entrepreneurs and to train producers for a better insight in and knowledge of what tourism means to the individual company and to the region as a whole. This all is aimed at improving the conditions for a successful development of Jämtland as a tourist destination.
For several years there has been a positive development of small scale food production in Jämtland and there is now a large number of skilled producers in the county, ranging from goat cheese to coffee and chocolate. For producers who have stability in their production, there has been an interest in developing tourist products on the farm and in the production premises. To develop this interest and to allow them to create a new type of tourism in the county, Jämtland Härjedalen Tourism (JHT) has developed the idea of "gastronomical tourism". Producers who want to focus on tourism can attend a training helping them to develop their companies.
During the project an inventory of currently existing small-scale food producers in the county was made and their potential as tourism entrepreneurs has been reviewed. The project also fulfilled its objectives of training. By developing a sound methodology and using new resources in the tourist industry, the project aims to create conditions that are favourable for an increase of travellers to Jämtland.
An important lesson of the project is also that the inventory of the regional situation took a longer time than expected, because there were many parties to involve. Another lesson is that if you work with information that participants must share, you must make sure that this happens, especially if the process depends on this information, a point that could not be sufficiently stressed. Finally, working within the framework of an EU project that is limited in time has both advantages and disadvantages. It is an advantage to have a deadline but it can also be detrimental if one needs to postpone certain activities outside the project's timeframe. In the case of the GASTUR project which was anchored to the JHT project “Tourism in 2020”, this was not a major problem.
Jämtland Härjedalen Tourism (JHT), which was set up in 1995, is the professional and business cooperation platform for the development of tourism in the county of Jämtland. This economic association owned by the tourism industry acts as a project promoter for regional joint actions while representing the county's tourism industry at national and international level.
Evidence of success
The project has already gained an international focus. A travel agency will now start “Food and Culture Theme Travels” to three regions in Europe: Tuscany, Piedmont and Jämtland.
Conditions for destination management have been improved as the project has generated 12 products which can be further developed over time. This is important because the overall development process is strengthened by the number of products reaching the market.
During the project period, five producers were trained and developed their products. There is a potential in the future to cope with up to about 30 businesses per year. This of course depends on the number of producers showing interest. The fact that the method allows stepping into the process at different times increases the chance that producers might be interested. The aim of the project was to enhance the skills of the small scale food producers wanting to start with some form of tourism activity based on their production. This means that, although the method of GASTUR was developed with food producers in mind, there is nothing to prevent it from using in other sectors such as fishing tourism, bicycle hire, handicraft, etc. The method is a tool to create distinctive and high quality tourist products.
Contact details to obtain further information on the practice
Jämtlands läns institut för landsbygdsutveckling, JiLU