United Cities and Local Governments Middle East and West Asia Section (UCLG-MEWA) organized a panel session titled “Importance of Gastronomy Tourism in the Branding of Cities” within the context of GastroShow Istanbul Exhibition.

The panel session was held on 28 June 2021 under the moderation of Mehmet Duman, UCLG-MEWA Secretary General. Alinur Aktaş, Mayor of Bursa, Turkey; Lütfü Savaş, Mayor of Hatay, Turkey; Murat Zorluoğlu, Mayor of Trabzon, Turkey; Nidai Güngördü, Mayor of Kyrenia, TRNC; and Oğuzhan Ata Sadıkoğlu, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Malatya Chamber of Commerce and Industry were the speakers of the panel.

During the one-hour session, local government representatives delivered presentations that introduced the gastronomic values of their cities and informed the participants about their activities in this field. Geographical indication used on local products was another highlight of the session. In response to a question posed by one of the participants on food security, Lütfü Savaş, who is also a medical doctor, elaborated on the food security certificate program that is implemented in the city of Hatay, Turkey.
Lastly, mayors also shared their visions about sustainable tourism.

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