The World Food Travel Association (WFTA) has certified Bonaire as a Culinary Capital. Through this program, the WFTA, a non-profit organization recognized as the world’s leading authority on food and beverage tourism, vets destinations based on their scores across five culinary criteria: culture, strategy, promotion, community and sustainability. The program was launched to give food lovers confidence to travel to new and unexpected food and beverage destinations by assessing, certifying, and promoting places that showcase their unique gastronomy and culinary culture to visitors. With dining offerings ranging from chefs’ tables to food trucks, Bonaire is the second destination to be honored as a Culinary Capital.
“I loved reading Bonaire’s application because it opened up a rich culinary culture that we knew nothing about before,” said Erik Wolf, WFTA’s Executive Director and Founder. “Now the rest of the world will begin to hear more about the fantastic food and beverage products and experiences that this destination offers.”
The collaboration between both the island’s public and private sectors, along with the support of Bonaire Hotel and Tourism Association (BONHATA), was instrumental in bringing this Culinary Capital certification process to fruition.
Miles B. M. Mercera, Tourism Corporation Bonaire’s CEO, is delighted with the positive news: “This certification is a great boost for Bonaire and all the hardworking professionals who have put the diverse culinary culture of our small island on the map in recent years,” he said. “It’s also an important step in our overall vision to develop and promote our gastronomic scene along with other island experiences that go beyond the fantastic diving we’ve always been known for.”
ABOUT THE CULINARY CAPITALS PROGRAM
Culinary Capitals is a culinary destination certification and development program. It is presented by the WFTA, the world’s leading authority on food and beverage tourism. Culinary Capitals was launched in mid-2021 to help lesser-known culinary destinations recover economically from the pandemic. The unique program is now gaining momentum, as more culinary destinations around the world are becoming aware of it.
ABOUT THE WORLD FOOD TRAVEL ASSOCIATION (WFTA)
The WFTA is a non-profit organization that was founded in 2001 by Erik Wolf, its current Executive Director. It is recognized as the world’s leading authority on food and beverage tourism (a.k.a. culinary tourism and gastronomy tourism). The WFTA’s mission is to preserve and promote culinary cultures through hospitality and tourism. Every year, the organization provides professional programs and services to 200,000 professionals in 150+ countries. The Association’s work and programs are aligned with its six major practice areas that include Culinary Culture; Sustainability; Wine & Beverages; Agriculture & Rural; Wellness & Health; and Technology.
The world’s first Blue Destination, surrounded by shores renowned for unrivaled scuba diving as well as year-round sunshine, the Dutch Caribbean Island of Bonaire is a blissful beach escape bursting with a history and culture as colorful as its architecture and tropical fish. Long recognized as a diver’s paradise, Bonaire’s renewed focus on celebrating its pristine ocean, abundant nature, and rich heritage, has helped evolve the destination into one of luxury, culture, and adventure. Now home to a burgeoning culinary scene, the likes of Michelin star talent have anchored some brilliant new options for foodies on the island, while elevated accommodations from luxury villas to beachfront boutique hotels, are attracting a variety of sophisticated travelers from around the globe. Bonaire’s animal sanctuaries, National Parks and interesting landscapes, ranging from salt flat coastlines to cactus-filled stretches of desert, are a must visit for nature lovers. Abounding with outdoor activities such as kayaking, caving and kite surfing, the island is also a hotspot for adventure seekers ready to explore. As regeneration of its spectacular coral reefs, to include a commitment to the sustainable use of ocean resources and a pursuit of conscientious social and economic development, positioning Bonaire as one of the Caribbean’s most eco-friendly islands.