Riyadh — Asir was announced the “World Region of Gastronomy 2024” by IGCAT, the International Institute of Gastronomy, Culture, Arts, and Tourism. It is the first non-European region to receive the accolade.
IGCAT announced the honor on Monday. Regions meeting culinary standards developed by the institute and sustainable regional development receive the exclusive rating.
IGCAT President Diane Dodd will give the award at an official ceremony on September 24 in Torino City, Italy.
The exclusive accolade for Asir results from tremendous efforts made by the Saudi Culinary Arts Commission.
The commission received support from several partners, the Asir Development Authority, Soudah Development Company, and Bunyan for Training.
Participants also included Qoot, Saudi Tourism Authority, the Saudi Heritage Preservation Society, Beekeepers Cooperative Association, and many others.
The IGCAT jury visited the region from February 27 and March 1, 2022, to meet local businesses and administration.
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It assessed the region’s preparations for the title and Asir’s efforts to support local cultural and food diversity.
The jury also reviewed the regional efforts for biological diversity and preserving the environment.
The jury was particularly impressed by the transfer of local traditions and heritage to the young generation. Allowing them to innovate services and products, bringing in sustainable tourism.
The award will be a windfall for the region and the local community. It will introduce the region’s distinct culture and food to the world.
The Asir experience will display the traditional cooking methods and raise awareness for a healthier and sustainable life.
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Educational and development programs will engage the local community in protecting the environment and biodiversity. Limit one-use plastic packaging. And develop local stakeholders for the task.
This award will encourage new funding from the public and private sectors. Thus, improving service, product quality, and hospitality standards of the nascent tourism industry.