Aceh holds first virtual culinary fest

The Indonesian Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy held its first virtual Aceh Culinary Festival (ACF) over the weekend. Visitors who live in Banda Aceh and Aceh Besar Districts could order various dishes from participating culinary outlets for delivery to their homes. Over 100 food entrepreneurs and small and mid-size enterprises (SMEs) attended to promote their products.
According to the ministry, Aceh has long been known for its eclectic selection of herbs and cuisines. From curry and martabak to pandan leaf fried chicken, the province offers something for everyone and represents Indonesia's rich culinary diversity.
"This year's Aceh Culinary Festival provides a totally different experience from previous years, as it is held virtually through Aceh food apps and Aceh Food Channel on YouTube," said Sandiaga Uno, Indonesia's Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy, during the opening remarks. "With this virtual event, we are committed to recovering the economy that has been hit hard by the pandemic, while empowering new entrepreneurs and job opportunities."
The ACF is a major culinary event that has significantly boosted Aceh's tourism and culinary heritage for seven consecutive years. Following robust growth in digital transactions in Indonesia, the government plans to ensure continued support and development by supporting SMEs to digitise. This year the government has decided to go further by making the event virtual. By implementing a digital platform and an app to enable more visitors to access the virtual event, the government has encouraged Aceh's SMEs to use technology to grow their business.
Sandiaga explained: "This is an innovative approach to succeed our Adaptation, Innovation, and Collaboration strategy, particularly in facing any potential challenges amid the COVID-19 pandemic."
In addition to the app, the ACF this year also adopted new digital outreach channels, such as podcast, documentary video, and live streaming through Aceh's local government (Dispudbar Aceh)'s YouTube channel.

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