Michelin Food and Beverage Asia has announced that starting in 2020, it will rate and introduce restaurants in not only Taipei, but also Taichung. It is currently carrying out the rating work.
Michelin Food and Beverage Asia announced on Nov. 14 that it will begin rating and introducing restaurants in Taichung, in addition to Taipei, starting with the 2020 Taiwan edition of the Michelin Guide. It is currently carrying out the evaluation work. When asked why it selected Taichung, the company said it took both the city's tourism and gastronomic scene into account.
First what we look, we look at the gastronomic scene of the city, and also we look at the potential for the next few years.
Michelin is actively seeking to expand its gastronomic clout in Asia. It published the Michelin Guide Taipei for the first time in 2018. At that time, the Tourism Bureau allocated over NT$10 million to pay for secret diners to visit Taiwan and rate restaurants. The bureau says that the Michelin Guide's global reputation is worthy of investment, and the publication of the Michelin Guide Taipei produced outstanding results.
I had a group of guests from Morocco who were traveling through Asia. They went to Seoul, Tokyo, and Osaka, and then came to Taipei and came to my restaurant. There's a 10 to 20 percent chance that they came to Taipei just for that.
Tourism experts say in the past, international attention was centered on Taipei. Now that the Michelin Guide has decided to add another city, there are good opportunities for other cities to gain global exposure. In the future, Taichung's gastronomic delights won't be limited to night market food, and international tourists won't only visit northern Taiwan.
It doesn't matter whether we believe in the "Michelin curse" or not. International tourists will no longer only focus on Taipei, they will gradually shift their focus to central Taiwan.
Can Michelin stars bring tourists to Taiwan? That's questionable. I think that tourists coming to Taiwan will end up noticing Michelin.
Experts add that some of the restaurants with Michelin stars are considered to serve Taiwan food suitable for foreign palates. Individual tourism is on the rise, and therefore authentic Taiwan flavors are a selling point. They advise the Tourism Bureau to bring together culinary experts from around the country to formulate a local culinary map and develop that into tourist itineraries to promote Taiwan in the global market.