Michele Rumiz is the director of the Slow Food Travel programme at Slow Food International – the global grassroots organisation founded to prevent the disappearance of local food cultures and spread sustainability across the food system. Slow Food Travel entails both innovative destination development projects offering local areas the chance to develop their potential as a quality gastronomic destinations; a partnership with Airbnb to deliver sustainable and high-quality food experiences; and ad hoc agreements with tour operators to discover worldwide destinations with Slow Food. An LSE alumnus, Michele possesses relevant experience in the development of value chains in the agri-food sector, with a specific focus on food, tourism, and sustainable rural development. He is devoted to building networks amongst companies, chefs, and academicians to raise consumers’ awareness on food and agriculture sustainability issues.
SYNOPSIS – SLOW FOOD TRAVEL
Food is one of the driving motivations for travellers choosing their destinations, with tourists spending more and more time and money on food and beverage experiences. Yet destinations often fail to adequately showcase the complexities and uniqueness of their food traditions. Equally important, tourism destinations often lack tools to translate tourism into concrete benefits for high-quality and sustainable local food productions. Slow Food Travel is a methodology developed by Slow Food helping territories to develop their potential as quality gastronomic destinations. Through local-level multiple-stakeholders alliances and a path to master the ability of small-scale farmers to offer high-quality unique food experiences, destinations add value to the best of local gastronomic heritage. In so doing, travellers can discover gastronomic heritages and biodiversity through its guardians – local artisan food producers, contributing to their livelihoods through the diversification of their income and the generation of positive externalities. If carefully tailored, such experiences can be invaluable in raising awareness of travellers on the impact of wider global problems, and the local projects that promote sustainability across the food chain.