May 23, 2024

The Department of Tourism is set to host the first United Nations Forum on Gastronomy Tourism for Asia and the Pacific in Cebu in June.

DOT Sec. Christina Frasco said the forum would serve as a platform to celebrate gastronomy tourism while bringing together destinations and international experts to exchange best practices.

“Our goal is to showcase how significant food is to our culture, and highlight our gastronomic delights and the Filipinos who excel in this craft,” she said in a news release.

The event from June 26 to 27 is a prelude to the country’s hosting of the 36th Joint Commission Meeting for East Asia and the Pacific and South Asia on June 28.

Frasco has led the DOT in various gastronomic programs which President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. promotes in his latest vlog as “regional cuisines play an important role in the world-renowned Filipino brand.”

Programs include the Philippine Eatsperience and the Philippine Experience Program (PEP).

The PEP recognizes the pivotal role of food and gastronomy in shaping the country’s tourism landscape.

The Philippine Eatsperience, launched in April, offers travelers an authentic taste of Filipino hospitality while visiting Intramuros and Rizal Park.

The DOT is also working on staging the first ever Halal Travel and Tourism Expo in Manila to develop a Muslim-friendly travelogue of the Philippines and collaborating with RestoPH to provide more Muslim-friendly food and Halal-certified food in the metro.

The country won at the Halal in Travel Awards 2023 as an emerging Muslim-friendly destination.

“We hope that with the President’s endorsement, we will foster a stronger community that would champion our local cuisines, and above all, give employment to more Filipinos,” Frasco said. – PNA