UN World Tourism Organization considering designating Ubud an official culinary destination

Rice terraces in Ubud.
Rice terraces in Ubud.

Ubud might soon be added to the map of global culinary hotspots, should the United Nations World Tourism Organization deems it worthy.

Indonesian Tourism Minister Arief Yahya said in a press conference in Jakarta today that Ubud might become the first destination in the world to receive a designation from the UNWTO for culinary excellence. 

“The UNWTO’s designations so far have only been partial, only for restaurants or specific branches of cuisine. For Ubud, we [the Tourism Ministry] and the Gianyar District Government proposed a holistic designation of Ubud as a gastronomic destination, and if it happens it will become the first in the world,” Arief said, as reported by Media Indonesia.

Arief went on to express his hope that the international acknowledgment would help draw foreign tourists to take part in culinary tourism throughout Indonesia.

“In general, most tourists spend about 40% on culinary, that’s why gastronomy or culinary has such a big potential in tourism overall,” Arief said, adding that gastronomy could potentially equalize tourism income between different regions.

According to a report from Industry.co.id, a team from UNWTO has arrived in Indonesia and will conduct their assessments in Ubud for eight days.

The UNWTO has been working to promote culinary tourism, partly to encourage countries to use it as a tool for development. Just last month, it published an official guideline to develop gastronomy tourism.

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