"Aceh's culinary reflects a series of processes from the upstream to the downstream, as its commercialization can go from agricultural tourism to organic, educational and historical, even dish-making tourism," she said.
She also expressed her appreciation and support towards the Aceh Culinary Festival, held last week in Banda Aceh.
The culinary sector became one with the most promising potential for the province's tourism sector, Acting Provincial Secretary of Aceh, Helvizar Ibrahim, said.
It also has a wide presence across communities, as many dishes, including Acehnese noodles (mie Aceh), Gayo coffee, and ayam tangkap, have been known and influenced the culinary sector in areas outside of Aceh.
"Even among the people in the eastern part of Indonesia, mie Aceh have become popular. Gayo coffee has gone worldwide. They are all part of Aceh's culture and tradition. It is an identity that needs to be maximized to support our tourism," Ibrahim said.
The ACF this year was held for three days and more than 62,000 people visited it, he added.
"The financial turnover reached Rp4.1 million, with the highest tenant transaction totaling Rp70 million and the lowest one was recorded at Rp3.5 million," he added.
Meanwhile, culinary expert William Wongso, who was also present during the 2019 ACF from July 5 to 7, said each and every dish from Aceh has distinct flavors.
"It is always a pleasure to talk about Acehnese food, as the flavors in them are very bold. There are sour, savory and spiciness all together. There is also the strength of the spices and a variety of processing methods. These have become the advantages for Aceh’s food," he said.
In the tourism portfolio, the culinary sector has contributed around 30 to 40 percent of the revenues.
The creative economy sector contributed 7.38 percent towards national GDP of Rp852.24 trillion, and from this total, the culinary subsector contributed 41.69 percent.
"When the culinary sector is developed properly, all aspects will be covered, including the micro, small and medium enterprises, tourism and culture. The influence spread wide, especially to the economic sector," said Head of the Ministry of Tourism's Calendar of Event Management Esthy Reko Astuti. (INE)
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