Gastronomy and Creative Entrepreneurship in Rural Tourism (Gastrocert)

The international project Gastrocert will conduct research into how the development of local gastronomy can help to protect the heritage of regional food systems, and how entrepreneurial culture can promote local produce as a touristic experience.


Sustainable landscape management in rural areas requires the creation of opportunities that treat landscapes in the context of their historical, cultural and social factors. The growing popularity of gastronomy efforts, as part of a broader sustainable tourism development strategies, calls for study of the dynamics between heritage, tourism and creative entrepreneurship.


Sweden has identified gastronomy as a domestic development priority and the country seeks to a leading “foodie” nation in Europe by 2020. This policy goal relies on the development of the country’s various gastronomic heritages as significant attractions or “pull factors” for consumers, including visitors. Gastronomic heritages – and the associated issues and regional development – are truly interdisciplinary subjects that require appreciation of history, art, landscapes, environmental conservation and social structures. The project emphasizes the significance of local knowledge, skills and practices regarding heritage assets and how experiential journeys through cultural landscapes promote gastronomic tourism and ultimately support the Swedish priority of advancing its gastronomy sector. 


The project aims to explore how the development of local gastronomy can help to protect the rural heritage values and how entrepreneurial culture can enhance locally produced food as a value-added touristic experience. 


The project will enhance our understanding of the vitally important role that food plays in cultural identities and the appreciation and promotion of local and regional traditions and contribute to the on-going creative gastronomy efforts in Jämtland and the other partners regions as well as achieve following outcomes:

  • Reports on how local markets can be used to preserve and sustain local producers, while maintaining local identity.
  • A blueprint for the development of regional gastronomic initiatives that involve SME´s, public bodies and destination marketing organisations.
  • Support for toolkit development on how SME´s can communicate the importance of landscapes and traditions through “narratives”.
  • Results synthesized into appropriate documentation and presented policymakers, to develop a better understanding of how gastro-tourism can contribute to economic development and increased understanding and preservation of gastronomic cultural heritage. 

Gastronomy and Creative Entrepreneurship in Rural Tourism (Gastrocert) is funded through the Heritage Plus program, administered in Sweden by the National Heritage Board. 

Keywords: gastronomy, entrepreneurship, tourism, rurality, development