The government is looking into the criteria required to lodge an application with UNESCO next year to designate Macau as a “city of gastronomy” in the UN body’s Creative Cities Network, Macao Government Tourist Office (MGTO) Director Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes said on Monday.
She made the remarks after attending a plenary meeting of the government-appointed Tourism Development Committee.
According to UNESCO’s website, the network, which was created in 2004, currently consists of 116 cities in 54 countries covering seven creative fields, namely crafts and folk art, design, film, gastronomy, literature, music, and media arts. The network aims to promote co-operation with and among cities that have identified creativity as a strategic factor for sustainable urban development, the website says.
Chengdu in Sichuan and Shunde in Guangdong are among the network’s 18 ‘cities of gastronomy’ worldwide, according to the website.
“Macau’s gastronomy is an important tourism feature,” Senna Fernandes said. Pointing out that the network’s latest round of applications closed last year, the tourism chief said the next round would probably start next year, acknowledging that the international body has yet to release the details of the application process.
She also said that her office was gathering “relevant information”, adding that MGTO officers had visited their counterparts in Chengdu and Shunde to learn how their applications were successful. However, she was quick to add to the government had yet to make a final decision on whether it will lodge the application.
Macau’s rich culinary landscape includes Cantonese, Macanese, Portuguese, Thai, Japanese and Italian cuisines. Macanese cookery is reputed to be one of the world’s oldest fusion cuisines, comprising Chinese, Portuguese, Malay, Indian and African ingredients and recipes.
UNESCO added Macau to its World Heritage List in 2005.