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The municipality of Matosinhos developed an engaging and participatory process that mobilized key community stakeholders in a reflection on the present and future of the local gastronomic sector. Dozens of representatives from Matosinhos's economic and creative ecosystem participated through interviews or group discussions. This collaborative project is part of a larger strategy to boost not only gastronomy but also tourism, fundamental sectors in Matosinhos's economy.

This debate gave rise to valuable contributions for the sustainability and development of Matosinhos's gastronomic and tourist sector, such as the creation of a unique "food identity" that values both traditional production processes and local products. This identity will capitalize on the proximity to local producers and highlight the authenticity, traceability, and sustainable practices that the reality of Matosinhos offers, in a trend that follows the growing international demand for transparency and sustainability in the food industry.

To foster innovation and excellence in gastronomy, a strong commitment to local training offerings was suggested, diversified and aimed at qualification in areas such as customer service and sustainability. It was also proposed to create a "seal" that certifies the local origin of products, as well as a hallmark that identifies local and regional typical dishes.

Among the challenges identified, there is a need to improve accessibility and connections to neighboring cities, such as Porto, with a view to attracting more tourism. The importance of investment in support infrastructures, improving the urban environment, and training restaurant sector entrepreneurs to enhance the presentation of services and spaces was also emphasized.

The organization of gastronomic festivals and events, as well as the valorization of old dishes and distinctive products, such as canned goods, were identified as a commitment to be maintained and developed. The municipality will continue to develop its economic and tourist promotion policies always in close collaboration with the representatives of the sector, ensuring the success of these activities on which hundreds of companies and thousands of workers who support the tourist activity in Matosinhos depend.

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