Ubud, Bali might soon be known as the world’s first gastronomic tourist destination!

Bali’s centre of culture and arts is currently being evaluated for this purpose by the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO). Members of the UNWTO were in Ubud, Gianyar for 8 days in June 2019 to begin the first stages of the assessment, which will take at least one year to complete. If all goes according to plan, Ubud will receive the title in 2020 as the region’s first Gastronomy Destination Prototype.

The assessment process includes an inventory of all of Ubud’s gastronomic assets, online and offline surveys and an in-depth analysis of all of Ubud’s stakeholders including hotels, restaurants, chefs, food festival organizers, local government representatives, local and international tourists, transportation providers and drivers, academics and tourists.

Once the process is complete and results found to be in favour, Ubud will be named the world’s first prototype gastronomic destination by the UNWTO for other regions around the globe.

Tourism Minister Arief Yahya said, “We hope that this will pave the way for Indonesia to become a world-class culinary destination.” He also told Kompas.com that the certification will be regarded highly as a much-deserved global award, and that the certificate won’t be easy to obtain as it can only be issued by world-class endorses like the UNWTO and similar organizations like UNESCO.

The Minister also told members of the media at a press conference that the Tourism Ministry had first proposed to the UNWTO for Ubud to be named a gastronomic destination from as far back as three years ago. Minister Arief Yahya told Jakarta Post, “Culinary destinations, as well as 30 national dishes were proposed during Ibu Mari [Elka Pangestu] era [when she was the Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy from 2011 to 2014]. I merely continue the work to get the UNWTO certification.”

Back then, the Ministry proposed for Bali, Bandung and the Joglosemar area as contenders as the world’s leading gastronomic destination. Ubud was finally selected based on several criteria such as local produce, lifestyle, culture, history, nutrition and health.

Such an incredible new development wouldn’t be surprising to the discerning gourmand who has visited and dined in Ubud, home to some of the world’s most renowned dining establishments such as Locavore, Mozaic Restaurant Gastronomique, Blanco Par Mandif, Padi Fine Dining, Aperitif and the locally produced and internationally award-winning, French winemaker Sababay Wines from Gianyar regency which pairs fair-trade local food producers with organic grape growers from North Bali. Meanwhile, the newest most anticipated dining establishment by Indonesia’s most renowned and internationally-acclaimed artist Srihadi Soedarsono – SHRIDA Taste of Ubud has recently opened its doors on Jalan Bisma. SHRIDA is a place where gastronomy, art and culture come seamlessly together in a haven of taste, touch, sight and smell.

The menu is wide and varied, featuring beautifully curated flavours from across the archipelago beginning with Delicious Dining for casual selections, all-time favourites with Signature Flavours, Fine Dining with Wine & Dine and a Degustation Menu for Private Dinners as well as cocktails and canapés under Bar & Nibbles.

For more information on UNWTO please visit www.unwto.org.

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