Vietnam named Asia’s leading culinary destination for the first time

By Nguyen Quy   October 13, 2019 | 01:55 am PT
Vietnam named Asia’s leading culinary destination for the first time
Cha ca, the pan-fried squares of fish tossed with dill, onion, turmeric and galangal, is a well known, much favored dish of Hanoi. Photo by VnExpress/Quynh Trang.
The latest World Travel Awards has chosen Vietnam as “Asia’s Leading Culinary Destination” reaffirming the growing international reputation of Vietnamese cuisine.

It is the first time the country has achieved this honor though Vietnamese cuisine has already won considerable praise from international tourists and got rave reviews from prestigious travel magazines.

Graham Cooke, the founder of the World Travel Awards (WTA), said Vietnamese cuisine has crossed the national border and has become one of "must-try" experiences.

The recognition of Vietnam as Asia's leading culinary destination reaffirms its culinary fame on the global tourism map and introduces diversity in indigenous cuisine styles to more international tourists, he said.

The WTA was launched in 1993 to acknowledge excellence in the travel and tourism industry. Heralded as the "travel industry's equivalent of the Oscars" by The Wall Street Journal, the awards are handed out based on votes by the public and travel professionals across the globe.

Vietnam won three other prizes at the WTA awards ceremony for Asia and Oceania held Saturday on Phu Quoc, Vietnam's largest island off the coast of the Mekong Delta province of Kien Giang.

This year, Vietnam was also "Asia’s Leading Destination," and "Asia’s Leading Cultural Destination," while the ancient town of Hoi An was named "Asia’s Leading Cultural City Destination".

Banh mi, the Vietnamese sandwich. Photo by FlickrAndrea Nguyen.

Banh mi, the Vietnamese sandwich. Photo by Shutterstock/FlickrAndrea Nguyen.

Vietnam had six nominations at the 26th edition of the prestigious WTA awards for the globe this year as a whole.

Three nominations are at the national level: World’s Leading Culinary Destination, World’s Leading Destination and World’s Leading Cultural Destination. Two others are World’s Leading City Destination (Hanoi) and World’s Leading Cultural City Destination (Hoi An).

The Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT) has been nominated for World’s Leading Tourist Board award.

The global awards ceremony to announce the winners of the categories will be held in Muscat, Oman, in November.

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