REPUBLIKA.CO.ID, JAKARTA -- The Indonesian Culinary Fair 2016, dubbed "The Taste of Indonesia," will be organized at the Shinagawa Prince Hotel, Tokyo, from May 16 to June 16.
The organization of the culinary promotion event was in line with the government's policy to intensify culinary diplomacy, Tourism Minister Arief Yahya stated here, Friday.
The promotion event has been organized to achieve three targets. The short-term target is to introduce Indonesia's diverse flavors and tastes, as well as to promote the country's culinary delicacies.
The mid-term target is to encourage restaurants and hotels in Japan to offer Indonesian dishes as well as to attract more Japanese tourists to visit Indonesia.
The long-term target is to send Indonesian chefs to work in restaurants and hotels in Japan and to introduce halal food cooking techniques as well as Indonesian dishes in Japan's culinary schools.
Japan ranks fifth in the list of major countries contributing tourists to Indonesia, according to Deputy Minister in charge of International Tourism Marketing Development of the Tourism Ministry I Gde Pitana.
During the culinary fair, various Indonesian traditional arts, such as Sasando, will be performed.
The Japanese government has promoted international cuisines, including halal food, to attract foreign tourists from Muslim majority countries, among others.
Japan has set a target to attract 30 million foreign tourists by 2020. Six to eight million, or 20 percent of the 30 million tourists, are expected to be Muslims.
"This is an opportunity for Indonesia to promote its various culinary delicacies and food products, including spices," Pitana affirmed.
Last month, the "Wonderful Indonesia" Restaurant was opened in Anhui Province, China, to offer typical culinary delicacies from the archipelago as part of the efforts to promote the country's tourism and culture.
Situated in the densely populated area of Hefei in Anhui Province, the Wonderful Indonesia Restaurant was inaugurated by Minister Yahya.
"There is a growing trend of using culinary diplomacy to support tourism, and almost all television stations are also highlighting this aspect as one of their flagship programs," Yahya remarked.