The Jakarta Post
Essential Balinese dishes are among the Masterclass programs at the 2018 Ubud Food Festival (UFF). (Ubud Food Festival /Anggara Mahendra)
The United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) is assessing the town of Ubud in Bali's Gianyar regency for its suitability to be named a world "gastronomy destination".
The assessment is apparently to last one year.
The UNWTO seeks to make Ubud a prototype "gastronomy destination" for other regions around the globe.
"I want Indonesia to have a world-class culinary destination, hence we need a certificate that will function like an award. The best endorsers are world organizations such as UNESCO or UNWTO and [the certificate] won't be easy to get," Tourism Ministry Arief Yahya told a press conference in Jakarta on Tuesday as quoted by kompas.com.
UNWTO's lead expert, Roberta Garibaldi, said UNWTO was applying three assessment processes for the title: namely an inventory of gastronomy assets and attractions, which include mapping the readiness of the industry and business players, a verification and analysis process that includes interviewing all gastronomy stakeholders, producers, hotels, restaurants, chefs, food festival initiators, regional administrations, transportation providers, academics and tourists and recommendations that are required to be implemented by the stakeholders.
If all goes well, Ubud may receive the title in 2020.
According to kompas.com, the Tourism Ministry has been proposing Ubud as a world "gastronomy destination" for three years.
"Culinary destinations, as well as 30 national dishes, have been stipulated since the Ibu Mari [Elka Pangestu] era [when she was minister of tourism and creative economy from 2011 to 2014]. I merely continue the work to get the UNWTO certification," said Arief.
During the leadership of Mari, the Tourism and Creative Economy Ministry named three culinary destinations, namely Bali, Bandung and the so-called Joglosemar area (Yogyakarta, Surakarta and Semarang).
Ubud itself was chosen by the current ministry based on several criteria, such as cuisine that has become a lifestyle, the use of local produce in the region, food related to culture and history, stories behind the foods and nutrition and health.
UNWTO project specialist Aditya Amaranggana said Ubud's success may encourage other Indonesian regions to follow, such as Bandung and Joglosemar. (dpk/kes)