Capitalizing Indonesian Culinary

Rabu, 22 Mei 2013 | 09:25

Three Indonesia’s restaurants namely Mozaic in Bali (ranked 64), a Padang restaurant called Garuda in Hayam Wuruk Jakarta (ranked 79), and Baan Aarya in Bintan (ranked 101) were listed in the list of the best restaurants in Asia. Based on a survey by The Daily Meal, a culinary website which becomes a reference for traveler, the rating of Indonesian restaurants outpaced thousands of other restaurants in Asia, as cited from Bloomberg report. 

The rating is rated based on innovation in presenting food, freshness, quality, and taste. It also assessed the whole dining experience from the restaurant's interior design, atmosphere of the dining room up to the skill and efficiency of the services.

Indeed, this report adds to the belief that Indonesia’s culinary industry should be taken into account. In addition, it also adds positive notes to the industry after some time ago Padang’s cuisine known as rendang and fried rice were inserted in the category of the world’s best flavor based on a survey conducted by CNN News.

Of course, depending on how to use it, the implication is not only for the development of the culinary industry itself but also for domestic tourism industry as well as the globalization of Indonesia’s culinary industry in competing in the global tourism arena.

Why is that so? As we know, the tourism industrial performance is being driven by many countries as a savior after the economic crisis slammed a number of countries in Europe and America.

In some European countries, including England, France, and Switzerland, tourism is very reliable as a savior after the level unemployment in the countries reached double digits.

For example, in England where the unemployment rate has reached 26%, the tourism becomes a mainstay to save the economy. This is why the country is currently aggressive in attracting tourists from other countries to visit and shop as part of the efforts to improve the domestic economic performance.

In this context, the culinary industry has a very important position. Unfortunately, up to now Indonesian culinary position compared to Japanese or Chinese and Thailand cuisines is still far behind in many countries, particularly in Europe or America.

Almost in all European and America countries, Chinese, Japanese, and Thai food are dominant, so that those foods become alternative for Asian tourists if they do not suit with local cuisine in those countries.

Moreover, more Indonesian travels abroad, not fly to Singapore or other Asian countries. But, Indonesian starts to travel to Europe and America, in line with the growth of a new middle class and high purchasing power.

That is the relevance. So, in that context, Indonesian cuisine, which is increasingly recognized among world traveler, needs to be capitalized in order to give benefit to the national economy.

According to the Ministry of Tourism, Indonesia has more than 5,000 registered local foods. Instead of simply promotion, more aggressive effort must be done.

Several years ago, for example, the Chinese government encourages entrepreneurs to expand their restaurant into a number of European countries, and the results are visible now. Many famous Chinese restaurants for Asian tourists are mushrooming in European countries.

Then, through a synergy of Incorporated Indonesian, Indonesian restaurant, Indonesian tourism industry, businesses and government need to improve the effort to introduce Indonesia to the world.

The goal is clear, Indonesia culinary and Indonesian restaurant have to be promoted in the world tourism industry.

It is not impossible, with painstaking effort, Indonesian restaurant will be able to become an alternative destination for tourists Indonesia or Asia, who are traveling to Europe or America, not just Chinese, Japanese or Thai restaurants.

This sector can be the main attraction in the domestic tourism market, which is also very promising sector.

Distinctiveness and excellence culinary flavors of Indonesian cuisine can attract for foreign tourists to visit Indonesia.

In this way, Indonesian culinary can be capitalized and provides extensive benefits to the national economy. Not only to create new extensive jobs, but also increase the coffers of foreign exchange for the country. (T03/T06/aph/tw)