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HomeTravel and TourismFirst lady’s Gastronomy tourism initiative taking shape

First lady’s Gastronomy tourism initiative taking shape

First Lady, Amai Auxillia Mnangagwa

First lady’s Gastronomy tourism initiative taking shape

By Shingirirai Muchena

The introduction of a program by the first lady of Zimbabwe Amai Auxillia Mnangagwa to market Zimbabwe through its food has taken shape and is slowly getting recognition from not only locals but foreigners as well.

Gastronomy tourism is a sub-type of tourism where people visit countries to sample exquisite cuisine (food). Zimbabwe is leveraging the growing popularity of this form of tourism to enter the world market to establish itself as an emerging giant in the travel and hospitality sector by putting its food out to the world to have a taste of Zimbabwean culture through its food.

According to UN Tourism, gastronomy is about much more than food as it reflects the culture, heritage, traditions, and sense of community of different peoples. It is a way of promoting understanding among different cultures and bringing people and traditions closer together.

Gastronomy tourism is also emerging as a crucial protector of cultural heritage and norms and values of a particular people.

Apart from promoting local food gastronomy tourism has also emerged as a means to eradicate poverty within societies in which it takes place by the availing of opportunities including jobs, most notably in rural areas where traditional food and drinks are still being valued and appreciated.

Such initiatives have seen the indigenous foods being consumed increasing as people are getting an appreciation of local foods grown in Zimbabwe.

Mouth-watering dishes including Mapfura wine, a beverage prepared from a fruit called Mapfura by the Shona people of Zimbabwe have grabbed international attention with many tourists dying to take a sip of this drink that has captivated many foreign tourists who have visited Zimbabwe’s tourism spots to get a look at what “The House of Stone” Zimbabwe has on offer in terms of its culture, food, and traditions.

Gastronomic experience has five traits that make it memorable and these include food consumed, location, companions, occasion, and touristic elements all of which make up this new form of tourism with the goal being breakthrough into markets that have not been broken into before but through the introduction of such an initiative.

Gastronomy tourism has benefitted locals in countries where it is being practiced because eating locally means choosing food that is locally grown and is distributed over shorter distances thereby preserving the freshness of the food.

It also is an investment into one’s community as it sees the local farmer being supported which leads to the emergence of more fruitful partnerships between the agriculture and tourism value chain.

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