Bernardo Fuertes, former co- director of Condé Nast Traveler magazine, has joined forces with Fibega to offer the very best to the emerging world of Gastronomy Tourism. He brings unprecedented levels of experience and expertise to his new role as Executive Vice President of FIBEGA Miami 2019, and asserts that this multi-sensory experience, will be unlike any other.
When did your passion for travel and gastronomy begin?
Like so many others, I have developed a life-long appreciation for traveling and gastronomy. From the time I was young, I was fascinated by these trades and I have been fortunate enough to have had the opportunity to convert my passions, into a profession alongside FIBEGA.
Points of interest and professional experience in the past?
For the past ten years, I have had the distinct pleasure of serving as the Co- director of Condé Nast Traveler magazine. This experience has been a gateway of discovery to so many things. I have been able to experience and explore the most amazing destinations from around the world. Whether it be a mainstream location or a hidden treasure; each of these localities offers a plethora of culture, customs, landscapes and gastronomical experiences to its visitors. Often, when traveling on assignments, my priority was to truly immerse myself into the local culinary culture and to engage with the locals, as to better understand their customs and traditions. Though I would have to say, that the ultimate experience for me, was the opportunity to understand the world on a deeper level and to gain a comprehensive, and first-hand perspective, of what has now become known as Gastronomy Tourism.
What do you most look forward to in your role as Executive VP of Fibega 2019?
This is truly a fantastic opportunity, and I am thrilled to be part of it. What I am most looking forward to, is executing the event with the unique tastes and desires of an international audience in mind. This event will appeal to its entire audience, despite the country and culture from which one may hail from.
Secondly, Fibega is ideally and centrally located in Miami Beach. This placement allows us to reach all corners of the world and offers the unique opportunity to work alongside diverse and multi-cultural people. Ultimately, of course, this experience will provide me with a deeper connection to others and provide me with invaluable life lessons.
What is your vision for Fibega and Gastronomy Tourism?
Fibega is an exceptional opportunity. It is the only International fair focusing on gastronomy tourism. When we discuss gastronomy within travel, it’s a fundamental piece of a much larger puzzle. Recent studies have shown that more than half of travelers are motivated by gastronomy when choosing a destination.
When visiting other countries, one does so with an open mind. One is open to their customs and culture. Gastronomy is an integral part of the culture. Appreciating diverse flavors, new products, and innovative ways of preparing them, is one of the most enriching experiences that exist. In fact, when people return from travel one of the memories that are most fondly remembered are those linked to food. Gastronomy is the best ambassador of a country. It allows you to show your allures and treasures as a destination and its these memories that remain imbedded in the senses of the traveler.
What are your goals and expectation for FIBEGA 2019?
This event, which will take place May 10- 12 in the Miami Beach Convention Center, is geared towards the professionals of the gastronomic tourism industry. It’s not only the ultimate networking event for industry professionals, but also offers the opportunities to openly engage with destination experts, cruise lines, airlines, hotels, private companies and food production.
In addition, this event will showcase the industry’s top travel agents and tour operators that are in search of the most striking novelties, and high-quality products, that are consistent with the gastronomy tourism field.
The event will host specialized congresses; consisting of high-level presentations and industry related workshops. Also, there will be riveting cooking demonstrations, and tastings for attendees. FIBEGA 2019 is truly a multi-sensory exhibition, that will certainly set the bar to an unprecedented level.