Taipei, Sept. 5 (CNA) The second annual forum on Taiwan's culinary culture opened in Taipei Wednesday, attracting nearly 400 local and foreign food and restaurant industry heavyweights.
Hosted by the Ministry of Economic Affairs, the 2012 Gourmet Taiwan Summit and Forum offers a platform for participants to discuss future trends in the industry and how Taiwan can localize and internationalize the country's delicacies, the organizers said.
"Taiwan has long been noted for its gourmet food, which is one of the top attractions for foreign visitors," said Vice Economics Minister Cho Shih-chao in his remarks to open the event.
Developing Taiwan's gourmet industry has also been a good way to boost the country's tourism sector, he said, explaining that Taiwan has developed a stronger presence in the world through its food.
Travel guide publisher Lonely Planet selected Taiwan as one of the top 10 countries for travelers to visit in 2012, in part because of its delicious food, according to an online article posted on Oct. 27.
Taiwan's food was also featured on another online travel news website -- CNNGo -- which published a list of 40 Taiwanese foods people cannot live without, Cho said.
As Taiwan aims to attract over 6.6 million visitors in 2012 and over 10 million visitors in 2016, Cho said that there will be a huge demand for food services in the near future and that this forum will serve as a foundation for further cooperation.
The day-long event invited Christopher Koetke, executive director of the Kendall College School of Culinary Arts, and Gissur Gudmundsson, president of the World Association of Chefs Societies, to deliver speeches.
(By James Lee)