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WHO'S WHO IN THE ISLAND

José Juan Herrera Martel - Councillor of Commerce, Industry and of the Centres and Museums' Network of Fuerteventura's Cabildo

“Promoting gastronomy in the open commercial areas was the priority”

FMHOY - Fuerteventura

WHO'S WHO IN THE ISLANDFor the first time, the Route of the Tapa was organised all over the island and we met with the Councillor, José Juan Herrera in order to find out more about this initiative.

How did this idea emerge?

It emerged from a study carried out by the Commerce Council that analysed the various open commercial areas on the island and it was concluded that many commercial locals in those areas are dedicated to the restaurant trade and we understood that we had to promote gastronomy in those commercial areas, as it is an important sector and an asset for tourism. It is a way to promote local gastronomy and as we are on an island, we wanted to involve all the municipalities.

This route started years ago as a project, but it only took place in La Oliva, isn't that right?

Indeed, we wanted the followers of this Route to have the opportunity to move around and go from one municipality to another and discover the island and its gastronomy offer. This is why we congregated all the ayuntamientos and presented all the commercial locals in each area.

Even myself, I discovered new locations that I didn't know well and I discovered their varied menu which I was unaware of. After analysing each area, we saw how the Route of the Tapa was welcome. It wasn't so much for the great profit in the short term but more because it gives them an opportunity to get promoted.

What was the repercussion amongst visitors apart from the local population?

What did participants say about it? The campaign wasn't focussed purely on the tourism visitors, however, their response was good, but it is the foreign population who lives here permanently who participated the most.

How many restaurant trade businesses participated on the whole island?

There were 225 in total in the six municipalities and they are the true protagonists of this event. The result was very satisfying for a first experience, which means that the restaurant trade sector is motivated and wants to do things. We didn't know how it would turn out, but for a first year, we are very happy. It was very carefully organised and planned together with the business G. de Gastronomía, who we collaborated with, but there will be a few changes to make and a few novelties to add for the next editions.

This means that there will be future editions of La Ruta de la Tapa?

This is the idea, we first wanted to get the sector involved and secondly, to reach society, to show that it is important and the final goal is to improve the quality of products. Once the quality of the product is consolidated, we will be able to sell this image outside and get a position on the market in order to attract the type of tourists who like gastronomy, as they are more and more interested in the gastronomy culture.

This first Route helped built the foundations for the future. We hope that whoever comes next will keep this event going and reach the goals it was created for.

Did the winner get a special prize?

Yes, indeed, the winner will participate in the National Tapas Contest that will take place in Valladolid and which is a very important event. Furthermore, there are many more prizes and some also for people who participated. Gastronomy is in fashion all over the world, and creating a name for ourselves that is recognised is added value for tourism that will affect all the island's municipalities.

Nowadays, being a chef is a prominent profession and the winner will be announced on 7th July. The gala will take place in the Barceló Castillo hotel where the five finalists from each municipality will be present as well as the professional jury, of which the National President of Tapas, a well-known gastronomy journalist and other prominent people from this sector, some who have a Michelin Star, etc. Well, we will publish in August the names of the winners and we will keep in touch so that our readers can follow also, especially those who enjoyed those delicious tapas beforehand.

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• Janira Lourdes Domínguez – Councillor of the department of Equality at Fuerteventura's Cabildo
• Juan Hernández Álvarez – Director of El Campanario Commercial Centre
• José Juan Herrera Martel - Councillor of Commerce, Industry and of the Centres and Museums' Network of Fuerteventura's Cabildo
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