Guests officiating at the kick-off ceremony of ‘2018 Macao Year of Gastronomy’ included the Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture of the Macao SAR Government, Alexis Tam (centre), and the Deputy Director-General of UNESCO, Getachew Engida (centre-left)
Certificate conferral ceremony designating Macao a UNESCO Creative City of Gastronomy
City Embarks Upon ‘2018 Macao Year of Gastronomy’
Duly launched by the Macao SAR Government on 17th January, the '2018 Macao Year of Gastronomy' triggers a four-year action plan involving various initiatives in six categories. An array of strategies designed to preserve and revive the city's cultural legacy with elements of gastronomy as key enhancers will forge Macao into a City of Gastronomy projecting its unique charm and creativity to the world as it marches towards sustainable development and more far-reaching international collaboration.
Establish database for Macanese cuisine, inherit culture of gastronomy
Macao was designated a member city of UNESCO Creative Cities Network (UCCN) in the field of Gastronomy on 31st October 2017, becoming, in the process, the third city in China to join UCCN in this endeavour. As pledged in the application, Macao will implement a four-year action plan as a UNESCO Creative City of Gastronomy which includes various initiatives in six categories:
Firstly, it will establish a management and supervisory mechanism and draw up action plans to put into practice relevant measures and project plans, thereafter supervising their implementation;
Secondly, it will launch campaigns at home and abroad to promote Macao's status as a City of Gastronomy, raising public awareness about UCCN goals;
Thirdly, the Macao SAR Education and Youth Affairs Bureau will set up a vocational school with an international cooking area, while the Institute for Tourism Studies (IFT) will launch a culinary centre providing and furthering culinary skills. A database will also be established for Macanese cuisine to carry forward the culture and traditions of a gastronomy that boasts a time-honoured history of more than 400 years;
Fourthly, the city will strengthen exchange and co-operation with other UNESCO Creative Cities in Mainland China, actively participating in activities launched by UCCN. Exchange and co-operation will be conducted among universities in the Cities of Gastronomy fold. Macao will also participate in the production of websites and promotional activities of Cities of Gastronomy, and organize the International Gastronomy Forum. Macao's role as 'One Centre, One Platform' will raise awareness of UCCN in Portuguese-speaking countries and encourage Portuguese-speaking countries, especially those in Africa, to join the Network;
Fifthly, the relevant authorities will co-operate with the local catering and culinary industries, supporting training programmes and mega activities such as the Macau Food Festival, Michelin Guide related initiatives, and Asia's 50 Best Restaurants Awards Ceremony, and so forth, to be held in Macao;
Finally, the city will promote and encourage cross-field co-operation in the cultural and creative industries. For example, the International Film Festival & Awards･Macao will be enriched with creative elements of gastronomy, while the subject will also be integrated with design opportunities.
Major initiatives of 2018 Macao Year of Gastronomy
The 2018 Macao Year of Gastronomy is one of the highlight projects included in the four-year action plan designed to forge Macao into a Creative City of Gastronomy, with its major initiatives outlined as follows:
Firstly, establish a management and supervisory unit chaired by the Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture;
Secondly, new culinary routes will be included in the 'Step Out, Experience Macao's Communities - Walking Tour Routes', with research conducted on new tour routes for in-depth culinary experiences; gastronomic elements will be included in travel roadshows, gastronomy-themed activities and a variety of promotional projects will be implemented in major source markets;
Thirdly, training and exchange programmes will be organized with higher education institutes, catering industry partners and professional organizations; Macao SAR Government will also work on building a database for Macanese cuisine;
Fourthly, a delegation will attend the 12th UNESCO Creative Cities Network Annual Meeting in Poland in June, while actively exchanging perspectives with other UCCN members and learning from their experiences; exchange programmes between higher education institutes in Macao and fellow Creative Cities of Gastronomy will be facilitated;
Fifthly, support events organized by local associations including Macau Food Festival, Macao Gastronomy Carnival and other culinary competitions or interchanges; support industry operators to organize Asia's 50 Best Restaurants 2018 and 2019 in Macao; launch Macao culinary tour packages with overseas travel agencies and lend support to local catering businesses;Finally, participate in the Task Group for the Promotion of Gastronomy and Cultural Industries established by the Committee of Cultural Industries to enhance synergistic effects; invite cultural and creative industry professionals to compose music around the theme; promote integration between gastronomy and other fields, such as the theme of the upcoming Parade for Celebration of Chinese New Year, which encourages performing teams to add ideas or elements of gastronomy to their performances; set up a gastronomy zone as one of the highlights of the 6th Macao International Tourism (Industry) Expo with demonstration of Macanese dishes; 3rd International Film Festival & Awards･Macao to feature films under a special food presentation section, and so forth.