"Wonderful Indonesia" Restaurant has been opened in Anhui Province to offer typical culinary delicacies from the archipelago as part of the efforts to promote the country's tourism and culture in China.

Situated in the densely populated area of Hefei in Anhui Province, the Wonderful Indonesia Restaurant was inaugurated by Indonesian Tourism Minister Arief Yahya on Saturday.

"The trend of using culinary diplomacy to support tourism is increasing, and almost all television stations are also highlighting this aspect as one of their flagship programs," Yahya remarked.

Moreover, the tourism minister pointed out that Indonesia had at least 5.3 thousand typical culinary delicacies found in more than 17 thousand islands.

He assessed that China was a potential tourism market, and this year, the number of Chinese tourist arrivals in Indonesia was expected to reach 2.1 million.

"The target of foreign tourists visiting Indonesia in 2016 is expected to reach 12 million people, and approximately 5.4 million of them will come to enjoy the typical culinary delicacies of the archipelago," he remarked.

Yahya welcomed the opening of the Wonderful Indonesia Restaurant in Anhui as a new strategy to attract tourists from China.

He said the Indonesian restaurant, located at No. 311 Jinzhai Road in Hefei, was designed on the concept of offering simple and warm culinary specialties of Indonesia.
Earlier, Asia Pacific Tourism Marketing Deputy Assistant Vinsensius Jemadu had stated that the opening of the restaurant showcasing the Wonderful Indonesia brand was a novel format in promoting Indonesian tourism.

"We are indeed developing a new format in promoting Wonderful Indonesia by opening the restaurant in the Anhui provincial city of Hefei in cooperation with the local investors," Jemadu affirmed.

Jemadu believes that Anhui Province offered huge potential as it had a total population of 80 million people of which eight million lived in the city of Hefei.

Jemadu opined that opening the restaurant in Hefei will increase the popularity of the Wonderful Indonesia brand among the community of the city.

He said all typical Indonesian dishes will be served at the Wonderful Indonesia Restaurant in Anhui Province.

The restaurant is the outcome of the cooperation with Chinese local investors who have experience in the culinary sector.

In Hefei, the Wonderful Indonesia restaurant is spread across an area of 400 square meters and has two Indonesian chefs ready to serve some 30 dishes of the country.

"Culinary diplomacy is considered the most effective 'soft power' for promoting Indonesian tourism in China," Jemadu noted.