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Indonesia potential to become world`s largest gastronomy country

Jakarta (ANTARA News) – Indonesia is potential to break into the ranks of worlds largest gastronomy countries with a number of supporting factors it has, an expert has said.

“Very likely with its varieties of fauna and flora in addition to its cultures and culinary,” Chairman of the Indonesian Gastronomy Academy (AGI) Vita Datau Mesakh said here on Wednesday.

Vita said gastronomy, an art and practice of cooking and eating good food, is closely related to area or place, identity and culture.

“We can see gastronomy from the view point of food & landscape. With that point of view we would get social, cultural, political, economic or historical descriptions through food,” she said.

Lately, fast growth has been recorded in the number of tourists and intensity in promoting tourist destinations and their food identities for commercial and tourism interests.

“Selling and promoting all types of food will need creativity such as in the processing and marketing of food products. In this context, tourism especially gastronomy tourism is an effective trigger,” she said.

Meanwhile, Tourism Minister Arief Yahya opened the second National Gastronomy Dialog and Wakatobi Culinary Promotion at the Sapta Pesona building of the Tourism Ministry here.

“We could replicate the U.S. method of creating and commercializing something such as digitalization. U.S. way of working in an ecosystem is by inventing digital start up,” Arief said.

He said he was convinced Indonesia could win in global competition in creative industry given the fact that the country has been able to maintain its position in the 21st in various cultural events in the world.

He said Indonesia has cultural values that could be commercialized including in culinary. Unfortunately until now Indonesia has nothing to show off as it has no courage and determination to determine including in culinary.

“Indonesia has no national food. Vietnam has pho, Thailand has tom yam, and South Korea has kimchi. Each country has something to show off . We have a lot but we have no courage to decide and determine one. Therefore, I decide to determine soto. Hopefully it is accepted. Soto has great variety . We hope it is identical with Indonesia,” Arief Yahya said.

Arief Yahya welcomed the second National Gastronomy Dialog and Wakatobi Culinary Promotion ceremonies aimed at boosting Indonesias culinary tourism industry.

Arief said gastronomy has important role in tourism industry as tourists spend much for foods and drinks beside for flight tickets, hotels and souvenirs.

He said culinary is an major factor to determine success or failure in attracting tourists, citing Batam relies on culinary festivals to attract cross-border tourists from Singapore and Malaysia.

The National Gastronomy Dialog with the theme of From Food to Root ; The Rise of Gastronomy Tourism, is organized by AGI in cooperation with the Tourism Ministry . It served as a forum of discussion and exchange of experience to promote Indonesian gastronomy tourism.

The Wakatobi Culinary Promotion is part of an attempt to promote the Wakatobi in Southeast Sulawesi, as a tourist destination in the country, one of 10 priority destinations to be developed as new Bali.

Promotion through culinary is expected to help introduce Wakatobi as a major tourist destinations among foreign as well as domestic tourists.

The promotion of Wakatobi culinary was highlighted with cooking contest of students of Tourism Institute in Jakarta.
(Uu.H-ASG/H-YH)