MACAO, Jan. 18 (Xinhua) -- The International Gastronomy Forum kicked off in China's Macao Special Administrative Region (SAR) on Thursday to exchange views on the potential of gastronomy and making cities better for people to live in.
The three-day event attracted more than 300 representatives from members of the UNESCO Creative Cities of Gastronomy, as well as chefs from the Chinese mainland and the Macao SAR.
Deputy Director-General of UNESCO Getachew Engida said at the opening ceremony that the designation of Macao as a UNESCO Creative City of Gastronomy bears witness to its continuing commitment to promoting a culture-centered model of urban development, particularly through its rich culinary traditions and vibrant contemporary gastronomic scene.
Alexis Tam, secretary for Social Affairs and Culture of the Macao SAR government, said that "we hope to create new synergies in the network by bringing in our contribution as a city, transforming itself into a world center of tourism and leisure, and a platform between China and Portuguese-speaking countries."
During the forum, the representatives will visit a higher education institute's workshop, make site inspections to the Institute for Tourism Studies and Macao University of Science and Technology, along with opportunities to experience the diverse local gastronomic culture.
The forum is one of the first highlights of the "2018 Macao Year of Gastronomy," which was launched on Wednesday, with a range of initiatives locally and internationally to celebrate the designation of Macao as a UNESCO Creative City of Gastronomy.