UNESCO Creative Cities to gather in Macao next week for International Gastronomy Forum

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MACAO, January 12, 2018 — The Macao Government Tourism Office will organize the “International Gastronomy Forum, Macao 2018” on January 17 to 19, bringing to town members of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network, officials and experts to connect with and share their successful experiences. The event is one of the first highlight initiatives carried out by Macao after the designation as a UNESCO Creative City of Gastronomy late last year.

Participants in the International Gastronomy Forum will witness the kick-off ceremony of “2018 Macao Year of Gastronomy” on January 17, which marks the official start of a series of promotional, educational and other initiatives, including the forum, to be conducted locally and internationally to forge Macao as a city of gastronomy.

The opening ceremony and forum panel sessions will be held on January 18, with other activities for participating Creative Cities also scheduled for January 17 and 19.

With the Secretary of Social Affairs and Culture of the Macao SAR Government, Alexis Tam, and the Deputy Director-General of UNESCO, Getachew Engida, featuring as the main officiating guests to speak at the opening of the forum, the event will bring together delegates from close to 20 UNESCO Creative Cities of Gastronomy from around the world and one Creative City of Design, academics, star-chefs, local F&B industry leaders and other professionals in the field from Macao and abroad.

Themed “The Potential of Gastronomy”, the forum program includes a presentation about The Vision Ahead of UNESCO Creative Cities Network (UCCN) and Cities of Gastronomy by the coordinator of UCCN Cities of Gastronomy Group, Dag Hartman. One of the panel sessions of the forum will present case study sharing and discussion between higher education and research institutions of the Creative Cities of Östersund (Sweden), Jeonju (Korea), Beijing and Macao, to debate The Relationships among Gastronomy, Creativity, Culture and Education. A Celebrity Chefs Session will bring together Michelin-starred and famous chefs from Macao and recommended by other Creative Cities of Gastronomy to share their success stories and cultural inspirations. In a Food and Beverage Industry Leaders Face to Face, heads from Macao integrated resorts and associations will brainstorm about the current situation and opportunities ahead for the local industry.

In addition, two internal UNESCO Creative Cities Network meeting sessions will be held in Macao to welcome and integrate the new Creative Cities of Gastronomy, as well as for matching members in new partnerships and project initiatives. Other activities for participating Creative Cities include a higher education institutes workshop, site inspections to Institute for Tourism Studies and Macau University of Science and Technology, to promote exchange and cooperation. The program will also provide opportunities for participants to experience the diverse local gastronomic culture.

Organized by Macao Government Tourism Office, the International Gastronomy Forum aims to be an annual event providing a valuable platform for exchange and exploration of collaboration initiatives between Macao, other Creative Cities of Gastronomy and professionals and academia in the field. The forum was first held in 2016, when Macao was preparing the application to join UCCN, bringing that year to town 16 out of the total 18 UNESCO Creative Cities of Gastronomy.

Macao became the third city in China to join UCCN in the field of Gastronomy on October 31, 2017, after Chengdu and Shunde. The designation as a UNESCO Creative City of Gastronomy is set to bring to Macao new opportunities to promote its unique gastronomic culture, while leveraging on creativity as a strategic factor for a sustainable urban development, in line with the network goals, helping to transform Macao into a world centre of tourism and leisure. UCCN covers seven creative fields: Crafts and Folk Art, Design, Film, Gastronomy, Literature, Music and Media Arts. The Creative Cities Network is currently formed by 180 members, including 26 Cities of Gastronomy. #  #  #

The opening and panel sessions of the International Gastronomy Forum will be held at the Macau Tower on January 18