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United Nations to Host World Forum on Gastronomy, Tourism

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Wat Saket Temple, or Golden Mount is seen during dusk in Bangkok, Thailand (File photo: Reuters)

AFP Relaxnews
World leaders in tourism and gastronomy will be gathering in Bangkok, Thailand this week for a UN-organized event to discuss how to use technology to promote sustainable growth in their industry.

At the fourth edition of the UNWTO World Forum on Gastronomy Tourism, technology will take center stage as a tool for greening a burgeoning industry in which globetrotters are choosing destinations based on their culinary offerings. The three-day event is co-organized with the Basque Culinary Center.

Bangkok holds bragging rights to being the first Asian country to host the event. In recent years, culinary momentum has been building in the city, attracting the attention of the food world and galloping gourmands. Last winter, for instance, Michelin released its first restaurant guide for the city, bestowing stars on 17 dining destinations.

Earlier this month, the red guide announced plans to expand its coverage beyond the Thai capital into the southern territories of Phuket and Phang-nga. And chef Gaggan Anand's contemporary Indian restaurant Gaggan in Bangkok has topped Asia's 50 Best Restaurants four years in a row.

This year's UNWTO theme builds on the 2017 mandate, which likewise focused on sustainable development, defined in part as "the will to build a better world. "... And this responsibility must be incorporated into the culture of the traveler. The traveler is an active part of this aspiration for sustainability."

Last year's forum also called on the public and private sectors, producers, business, professional and travel institutions to support and promote sustainable consumption, and improved links with local producers.

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