The second “Macao･Creative City of Gastronomy” annual work meeting was held today (13 August). Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture, Alexis Tam, presided over the meeting and expressed affirmation for the contributions of different entities. He highlighted that Macao’s two glamorous calling cards, namely the designation as a UNESCO Creative City of Gastronomy and the enlisting of the Historic Centre of Macao on the World Heritage List, have gained wide recognition for Macao internationally, which is a boon for destination branding around the world. In the future, the city will carry on collaboration across fields as well as the public and private sectors, harness synergies with innovation and technology to raise Macao’s profile as a Creative City of Gastronomy in concerted efforts. The meeting was attended by representatives of the Macao Government Tourism Office (MGTO) and other governmental departments concerned, academic institutes, industry organizations and so forth.
Technology and creativity combined to move Macao towards sustainability
Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture, Alexis Tam, stated that with the Central Government’s enormous support, Macao, China was designated as a member city of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network (UCCN) in the field of gastronomy on 1 November 2017 (local time of announcement: 31 October 2017). The Creative Cities Network covers seven creative fields including Gastronomy, Crafts and Folk Art, Design, Film, Literature, Music and Media Arts. He believes that new possibility can be explored through synergies with innovative technology, which, combined with creativity, can unlock greater potential for the city’s development. He mentioned that more tasks and projects including Art Macao are underway this year. Not only that, more creative elements are required in the future to push forward Macao’s sustainable development and echo the United Nation's 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
He added that guided by the Outline Development Plan for the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, Macao forges ahead with the vision to become a world centre of tourism and leisure, a commercial and trade cooperation service platform between China and Portuguese-speaking countries as well as a base for exchange and cooperation, where Chinese culture prevails and different cultures flourish in harmony. He believes that Macao is marching towards a brighter future.
Macao participates in evaluation of applications to UCCN in the field of gastronomy
MGTO Director Senna Fernandes, Deputy Directors Cheng Wai Tong and Ricky Hoi attended the meeting and shared with delegates of different parties an overview of the Network and a retrospective summary of the work accomplished by MGTO to foster Macao’s development as a Creative City of Gastronomy, as well as future work plans.
Senna Fernandes stated that the four-year action plan (2018 – 2021) for the development of “Macao･Creative City of Gastronomy” leverages creativity as a strategic enhancer for the city’s progress towards sustainability, which aligns with the Sustainable Development Goals listed in the United Nation's 2030 Agenda. The initiatives underway are in parallel with some of the Sustainable Development Goals. Moreover, in the second year following the designation, Macao possesses the right to vote for host destination for annual conference and evaluate applications to UCCN in the field of gastronomy. On the other hand, preparations for construction of the Macanese cuisine database are in steady progress. Work is currently carried out to collect family recipes against the prospect of being lost from past generations.
Representatives of different entities and industry associations also shared about their work done to push forward Macao’s development as a Creative City of Gastronomy at the meeting.
The Institute for Tourism Studies (IFT) shared about its upcoming launch of Master programs in the catering field, while Education and Youth Affairs Bureau presented the project of building an activity center for vocational and technical education. Equipped with an international culinary zone, the center is expected to come into service in the fourth quarter of 2020.
Secretary Tam believes that the international culinary zone in the activity center for vocational and technical education and the culinary centre of IFT, both to be established in the future, will provide more comprehensive and better training programs for catering professionals together with the Macau University of Science and Technology and other tertiary institutes.
Efforts across fields and entities to promote Macao’s status as a Creative City of Gastronomy
In concluding the meeting, Secretary Tam recognized the work carried out by different entities. He pointed out that the two glamorous calling cards including Macao’s designation as a Creative City of Gastronomy and the enlisting of the Historic Centre of Macao as a World Heritage Site have gained wide recognition for Macao internationally and raised the city’s reputation, helping to promote the destination to different parts of the world. He called on members of different circles to cherish these two calling cards, not only to cast their concern on gastronomy and food safety, but also to strengthen industry training in order to promote overall quality enhancement in all aspects. In the future, through close cooperation across different fields and departments and with industry partners, and collaboration in preservation, creativity, education, training, food safety and other fields, all will work together to promote Macao’s status as a Creative City of Gastronomy, driving growth in economic benefits and prosperous development of Macao.
President of IFT, Fanny Vong, Advisor of Office of the Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture, Stella Leong, Vice President of Cultural Affairs Bureau, Chan Kai Chon, Deputy Director of Economic Bureau, Lau Wai Meng, as well as representatives of Education and Youth Affairs Bureau, Municipal Affairs Bureau, Labour Affairs Bureau, Macao Trade and Investment Promotion Institute and Environmental Protection Bureau attended the meeting among others.
Macao, China was designated as a UNESCO Creative City of Gastronomy on 1 November 2017 (local time of announcement: 31 October 2017). Following the designation, the SAR Government has unveiled a four-year action plan to develop Macao as a Creative City of Gastronomy with vigorous efforts. In the start of 2019, MGTO held the third edition of the “International Gastronomy Forum, Macao” and later launched the Great Green Food Journey project in collaboration with National Geographic, aiming to locate, support and promote sustainable practices in the food and beverage sector in Macao. The Office also carries out other initiatives including promoting the Sustainable Gastronomy Day with the rest of the world and working on building a database for Macanese cuisine.