Macao is now recognised as a UNESCO Creative City of Gastronomy, which is said to bring an array of new opportunities to promote Macao’s gastronomic culture and develop a sustainable tourism industry. Macao has become the third Creative City of Gastronomy in China, after Chengdu and Shunde. UNESCO Creative Cities Network (UCCN) covers seven creative fields – crafts and folk art, design, film, gastronomy, literature, music and media arts. The designation of Macao as a UNESCO Creative City of Gastronomy is said to add an international branding to the city’s portfolio that already includes the listing of The Historic Centre of Macao as UNESCO World Heritage site in 2005, and following the inscription of the collection of ‘Chapas Sinicas’ (official records of Macao during the Qing Dynasty) on the UNESCO Memory of the World Register. Macao is an associate member of UNESCO since 1995.
To celebrate the designation of Macao as a UNESCO Creative City of Gastronomy, the Macao SAR Government will launch a series of activities locally and internationally. A number of initiatives will also be rolled out in different fronts like enhancing vocational training, organising international gastronomy forum as an annual event, participate in Creative Cities organised international exchange events, and also the setting up of a management unit that comprises both public and private sector to implement and supervise all the initiatives and projects undertaken, amongst others. All actions and initiatives will correspond to the UCCN mission of using creativity as a driver for sustainable urban development.
In terms of inheritance, the designation is set to endorse the global recognition of Macao’s over 400-year-old culinary legacy, interest among the young generation in gastronomy culture, especially in Macanese cuisine and providing favourable conditions for food traditions.
The designation will also enable Macao to collaborate with other UCCN members in different creative areas to experiment synergistic initiatives, such as gastronomy with films, music, design and more. In terms of exchange, the network is expected to inspire and broaden Macao’s creative capacity in gastronomy and crosscutting initiatives by learning from member cities’ best practices and experiences, while fostering more opportunities for global co-operation with UCCN cities.