Thessaloniki has become a member of UNESCO’s Creative Cities Network for offering a creative gastronomy scene, the Municipality of Thessaloniki announced on Monday.
Launched in 2004, the UNESCO Creative Cities Network recently welcomed 49 new members that place culture and creativity at the heart of their sustainable urban development.
The network numbers a total of 295 cities in 90 countries that invest in seven creative fields to advance sustainable urban development: crafts and folk art, design, film, gastronomy, literature, media arts and music.
Thessaloniki is the only Greek city designated a UNESCO Creative City for Gastronomy.
The nomination file, submitted by the Municipality of Thessaloniki, promoted the city’s history and gastronomy tradition as it evolved through the centuries, as well as its scientific and research work in the food industry.
“Gastronomy is a significant comparative advantage of Thessaloniki. Our city is a crossroads of flavors and cultures… Fine local cuisine is the backbone of our gastronomy offering. It is financially rewarding and upgrades the travel experience,” Thessaloniki Mayor Konstantinos Zervas said.
Thessaloniki’s nomination file was prepared by the Municipality of Thessaloniki in collaboration with the Tourism Ministry and the Hellenic National Commission for UNESCO.
“This distinction is adding to the dynamic presence of Thessaloniki, a city that features 15 UNESCO World Heritage Sites and has the potential to grow further and stand out as a tourism and cultural destination,” Deputy Tourism Minister Sofia Zacharaki said.
Among the new members of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network are Doha (Qatar), Batumi (Georgia), Belfast (UK), Campina Grande (Brazil), Kermanshah (Iran), Kuching (Malaysia), Manises (Spain), Phetchaburi (Thailand), Saint Petersburg (Russia), Usuki (Japan) and Whanganui (New Zealand).
By joining the network, cities commit to collaborate and develop partnerships with a view to promoting creativity and cultural industries, to share best practices, to strengthen participation in cultural life, and to integrate culture in economic and social development plans.