In line with the Central Government’s strategy of developing Macao into the “World Centre of Tourism and Leisure” as well as the vision to facilitate the moderate diversification of Macao’ s economy, the Macao SAR government launched its application for the UNESCO Creative City of Gastronomy in 2015, in an effort to promote its sustainable development of tourism and international cooperation.The preparation for the application was put in the charge of the Macao Government Tourism Office (MGTO), as approved on 11 December 2015 by Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture.

On 9 May 2016, Macao SAR was approved by the Central Government to launch the application for membership of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network under the name of “Macao, China”. On 18 May, this attempt to apply for designation as UNESCO Creative City of Gastronomy was endorsed by the Chief Executive. The application works received the support of the National Commission of the People’s Republic of China for UNESCO, the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of the State Council of the People’s Republic of China (PRC), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the PRC and the Office of the Commissioner of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the PRC in the Macao SAR. The local Tourism Development Committee, along with the European Oenogastronomic Brotherhoods Council and the China Cuisine Association also supported the application.

After more than a year of preparation, Macao submitted the application to UNESCO Secretariat last June 14, under the name of “Macao, China”. Following a vigorous evaluation process carried out by internal and external consultations with independent experts and the member cities of the network, UNESCO designated on the early morning of November 1, Macao time, 64 new UNESCO Creative Cities, including eight new Creative Cities of Gastronomy.

Macao became the third city in China to join UCCN in the field of Gastronomy, after Chengdu and Shunde that entered the network in 2010 and 2014, respectively.