IMIC 2011 - Valuing the Food Experience (IMIC 2011)

Venue: Megaron Athens International Conference Centre (MAICC)

Location: Athens, Greece

Event Date/Time: Feb 02, 2011 End Date/Time: Feb 03, 2011
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Whatever the dish may be

Imagine the colourful sight of a plate of roast lamb with fresh grown vegetables and home-made bread in a Greek seaside island town or the smell of freshly sliced gyros at the foothills of the Acropolis, in Monastiraki. Whatever the dish may be, it seems food is something an increasing number of us remember from our travels. Research shows that leisure and business tourists alike are looking at a destination’s food offerings before they book their trip.

Food provides a connection with destinations

The tourism industry is in the middle of an incredible shift in the way vacations are marketed and it's all because people are demanding authentic experiences. Food provides a connection with destinations; apart from a physical necessity, food represents the identity and uniqueness of a destination, providing the travellers with an insight to the culture of the place they are visiting. The tastes of the local products, the food preparation and appearance and the whole eating environment create memories that influence, and many times even define, the travel experience. No wonder why so many ‘”food” magazines fill out weekly the bookshelves. Every body hides inside him/her a “gourmet” or “ I wish I could be a Chef” syndrome.

Long lasting memories

Travellers must acquire long lasting memories from a destination, especially when they participate at corporate events that the expected Return On Investment is a must. “Eating” as a simple act, may not last long time but the quality and flavours combined with the right ambiance remain imprinted in our memory for many years and can make or break an event.

The five streams

The 7th annual IMIC focuses on the importance of the food experience. Presenters and participants will explore ways to better package travel products to showcase, front and centre, a destination’s wide array of food offerings and excellence in gastronomy.

The theme of the conference is "Valuing the Food Experience" and in five presentation streams we explore using culinary identity to market and brand, combining authenticity and innovation, the networks and communication of gastronomy on the Web, operational considerations for food and culture tourism, and delivery of sustainable, quality experiences. Our final session brings speakers from all five streams together in a plenary session with audience interaction as we "collaborate for success"

The aim of the conference

The aim of the conference is to raise awareness and understanding about the growing importance of the food experience in tourism for all stakeholders: the destination, the tourism related businesses, the local producers and even all those not directly involved in the food or tourism industries.


Vas. Sofias & Kokkali, GR - 115 21 Athens