2018 Macao Year of Gastronomy kicked off on January 17 with a ceremony that took place at the Sai Van Lake Square, officiated by guests from home and abroad including Alexis Tam, the Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture of the Macao Special Administrative Region Government and Deputy Director-General of UNESCO, Getachew Engida.

Following the ceremony, the Macao Gastronomy Carnival was held, with guests visiting the stalls and tasting an array of local cuisines. Macao was designated as a new member city of UCCN in the field of Gastronomy on October 31, 2017, having become the third city in China to join UCCN in the field of gastronomy.

Commenting during the event, Mr Engida stated, “Gastronomy is not only an integral part of the city’s cultural identity; it is also a strong driver of its sustainable economic development and social cohesion. The Gastronomy Year will also provide an opportunity for Macao to develop regional and international cooperation with partners both within the network and beyond, strengthening its reputation as a hub of gastronomy.”

Mr Tam added, “As pledged on the application, Macao has implemented a four-year action plan as a UNESCO Creative City of Gastronomy, which includes various initiatives.”

Mr Tam said that the Macao SAR Government will continue to provide its support for activities to be held in the region such as the Macau Food Festival, the internationally-renowned Michelin Guide, and Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants.