The International Institute of Culinary Arts, Culture, Arts and Tourism (IGCAT) announced today that the Asir region has won the title of Global Culinary Arts District 2024, as the first region outside Europe to win the title given to regions that joined the platform and met the criteria developed by the institute, which includes working across sectors. Economic, cultural, social and environmental development through the field of culinary arts, to support sustainable regional development, and it is expected that “Asir” will be crowned with the title by the President of the Institute, Diane Dodd, in an official ceremony to be held in Turin, Italy, on September 24.
This victory came after great efforts led by the Culinary Arts Authority and with the participation of a number of partners, led by the Asir Region Development Authority, the Soudah Development Company, the Bonyan Company for Vocational Training, the Restaurant and Café Association “Quot”, the Heritage Authority, the Saudi Tourism Authority, King Khalid University, and the Association The Saudi Tourism, the Saudi Heritage Preservation Society, the Abha Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Faseel Environmental Development Association, the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture, the Beekeepers Cooperative Society, and the Abha Social Development Committee.
This victory comes after a jury of experts from the institute visited the region from February 27 to March 1, and met with local stakeholders, to assess the readiness of “Asir” to hold the title, and this visit reflected the region’s efforts in supporting local cultural and food diversity, and its quest to ensure biodiversity regional protection, environmental protection, heritage preservation and traditional knowledge, as well as empowering young generations to devise innovative products and services to attract sustainable tourism.
The committee praised the spirit of welcome among members of the local community in the Asir region, and their inherent willingness to display and share their local food and culture.
Winning this title will bring multiple benefits to the region and the local community, including highlighting the region’s distinctive cultural and food assets internationally by demonstrating traditional food methods, raising awareness of food issues on a large scale for healthy and sustainable living through educational programs, promoting community engagement projects, in addition to To contribute to protecting the environment, protecting biodiversity, reducing single-use plastics, and stimulating regional stakeholders for development. It will also help build the regional identity of the region, raise the value of the local community and its food culture, as well as support the economy by encouraging financing from the public and private sectors. and improving the quality of products and hospitality in the region to promote sustainable tourism.