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County of Sibiu to become Romania's first European Region of Gastronomy in 2019


The central county of Sibiu will become Romania's first European Region of Gastronomy in 2019, along with Greece's South Aegean region, Diane Dodd, chair of the International Institute of Gastronomy, Culture, Arts and Tourism and of the international jury that made the selection, told a news conference at Brukhental Palace in Sibiu City on Thursday. 

The county is said to have been selected a European Region of Gastronomy not just because it is the place where food is healthy and varied, but also because it was a successful 2007 European Capital of Culture. 

Dodd said Sibiu's experience as a European Capital of Culture helped others get richer. 

The announcement was made at Brukenthal Palace, where specialists tasted traditional food from Sibiu and the South Aegean after looking into the bids for the title. 

Sibiu officials promise that by being a European Region of Gastronomy the county will draw in many tourists, develop local economy and determine locals to eat better, and especially healthier. 

"We cannot stop at being a European Capital of Culture, when we were hugely successful, because I think we should wish for more. This is a step forward. First of all, it will generate the economic development of the region, and I mean here encouraging small producers firstly. (...) I promise it will be a success,' Sibiu City Mayor Astrid Fodor told AGERPRES, adding that the title is sure to attract tourists to the area. 

Sibiu City witnessed a booming tourism industry in 2007-2008, with a record of nearly one million tourists a year, but the stakes now are tourist coming to visit the entire county and the local traditional products reaching the rest of Europe. 

"This is an opportunity worth exploiting. We are glad about the outcome of today's election. Besides Sibiu City and the county having many beautiful places to visit, teeming with history and culture, they will now add the special taste of traditional Romanian foods that will cross the national borders into the rest of the world," Chair of the Sibiu County Council Daniela Cimpean told Agerpres. 

Mayor Fodor also said that 8 million euros from the local public budget will be invested in preparing the county for becoming a European region of Gastronomy.