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  • Writer's pictureByron Alvarado Vanegas

Route G

A combination of gastronomic innovation and tourism that values the heritage of Cuenca and promotes sustainable development in the territory.

Description of the study case

Route G (gastronomic route) is a tourist product created by the architectural consulting firm InHAUS in partnership with the San Isidro Institute (gastronomy education) and the AWEIK network of entrepreneurs. The project focuses on creating experiential gastronomic experiences in heritage spaces in Cuenca.

It is an itinerary in which the visitor can taste small menus elaborated by different restaurants recognized as the best exponents of the gastronomy in the city. They also promote the visit of heritage buildings that are not regularly open to the public.

...the company has focused on researching new gastronomic trends and discovering new talent... who could be part of the network in the future.

The project started at the end of November 2019 and it has quickly positioned itself in the market due to the success of its gastronomic tours because it is aimed at adult target groups with a medium-high economic level. Most of their public are people from Cuenca, Guayaquil, and retired foreigners who live in the city. In the beginning, the company operated within the urban area of Cuenca, but thanks to its growth it has extended its itineraries to rural areas with the purpose of linking actors from the periphery (producing farms and farmers associations).

One of the strengths of this project is the creation of collaborative networks between different catering companies that work in coordination with the creators of the project. In addition to conducting tours, the company has focused on researching new gastronomic trends and discovering new talent (chefs, chocolatiers, coffee experts, pastry chefs, suppliers) who could be part of the network in the future.

Due to the high cost of tour prices, the company has sought strategies to reduce its operating costs. In this case, sponsorships from private companies and promotion from the public sector have been arranged. The price of the tours may vary depending on the type of tour selected.

The creators of the project intend to expand the network of collaboration and optimize the costs of the tours to generate a higher profit margin. So far, the company has worked as a consultant, but they wish to become a tour operator specialized in the development of gastronomic products.

In spite of being a project that has been very successful in the market, it is paralyzed due to the health emergency caused by COVID-19. Nevertheless, the partners intend to continue the project when the sanitary conditions improve in Cuenca. Indeed, the network members are aware that they will need to rethink strategies to reverse this current situation and adapt to the new market dynamics.

Photo Credits: Route G website.

Source: initial information on the Pilot Project generated by the international team of the PREIT-Tour platform in May 2020.

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