The Food Festival of Journalism: PDO Riviera Ligure EVO, the protagonist of “made in Liguria”

On February 20th-22nd the Agenzia di promozione turistica “In Liguria” and the Genoa Chamber of Commerce attended the Festival del Giornalismo Alimentare (Food Festival of Journalism) in Turin, crowded by hundreds of professionals of food communication.

Participation fits in the frame of “Made in Liguria promotion, the objective of Regione Liguria and Agenzia “In Liguria in 2020, too.

The importance of food for Ligurian tourism is confirmed by figures; 7 tourists out of 10 who choose Liguria as a destination consider good food a priority; 74% opts for traditional food (only 16% goes international and a scant 10% ethnic). The Festival del Giornalismo Alimentare does represent a remarkable opportunity to promote regional excellences worldwide also through the interaction of two sectors: food and media. Figures, so to say, are the best proof: those 7 tourists out of 10 show the effectiveness of messages (Liguria: more than beaches) and campaigns (e.g. Liguria land of oil and wine). The path is clear: the valorisation of quality traditional Ligurian productions and committed small-micro entrepreneurs is pivotal.

A panel organised by Regione Liguria took place on On February 21st: speakers included the Assessore al Turismo Gianni Berrino, the Special Commissioner of the Agenzia Pier Paolo Giampellegrini, the Secretary General of the Genoese Chamber Maurizio Caviglia, Carlo Siffredi President of the PDO Riviera Ligure EVO Protection Consortium and Paolo Calcagno on behalf of the Protection Consortium.

“Made in Liguria was the protagonist of the “Assaggia la Liguria” educational and tasting corner: PDO Riviera Ligure EVO, PDO Genoese Basil and PDO wines. “Assaggia la Liguria” is the joint programme, promoted by the 2 PDO Protection Consortia with the Enoteca Regionale, which operates both B2C and B2B to communicate the history, values and traditions of PDO products all along their supply chains. Heritage and terroir meet to make food inimitable.

The Festival also hosted two workshops focuses on Ligurian excellences: the first was a preliminary competition of the World Pesto Championship – special edition for 10 journalists, the winner to attend the Genoa final; the second was dedicated to PDO Riviera Ligure EVO and its 3 geographical subareas (15 journalists).

Pietro Paolo Giampellegrini, Special Commissioner of Agenzia In Liguria, underlined the tight links between tourism and food:

«The relationships between journalism, the agri-food sector and tourism promotion are almost physiological. Ligurian food industry relies on PDO and PGI products, not to forget about our flagship – pesto. Food bloggers, influencers, food safety professionals, chefs and specialized journalists are always our focus. In 2019 we launched the “Food & Green” format, which next May will be enriched with a new, bigger “Village” of taste and sustainability».

The participation of Regione Liguria Region in this Festival fits in the promotional strategies we have been carrying out for years. We consider food and wine excellences as regional assets: therefore, it is of utter importance to get media coverage for the productions of the Ponente and the Levante, our most known tourist destinations. We aim at providing guest with immersive and integrated tourism offers. We have recently launched the “Liguria immersive experience” app to promote the whole array of regional resources: sea, sun, food, traditions, art, culture and nature – both in our national/regional parks and our marine protected areas».

Maurizio Caviglia, Secretary General of the Chamber of Commerce of Genoa, says: “We are attending the Festival for the first time with the World Pesto Championship brand,  which the Chamber of Commerce has just acquired from its founders, the “pioneers” who in 2007 designed and promoted the event almost for a bet: over the years, they have helped us to weave a network of relationships with businesses, institutions and associations and have accompanied us in the application for Unesco recognition. We have organized an elimination round for journalists and bloggers on occasion of this Festival. We will also present the latest additions to the collective brands managed by the Chamber of Commerce: “Genova Gourmet products”, which aim at the protection of niche agri-food productions, and “Genova Gourmet Bartender”, for cocktail professionals who promote local products”.