HomeGood TravelCebu, Philippines to Host First UN Asia-Pacific Gastronomy Tourism Forum

Cebu, Philippines to Host First UN Asia-Pacific Gastronomy Tourism Forum

The Philippines’ various types of ‘kakanin’. Image from 7641 Island of the Philippines.

The Philippines is hosting the first-ever United Nations (UN) Tourism Regional Forum of Gastronomy Tourism for Asia and the Pacific on June 26-27 in Cebu City.

The 2-day forum, organized by the UN Tourism, the Basque Culinary Center, and the Department of Tourism (DOT), will be held at Shangri-La Mactan, alongside the 36th UN Tourism Joint Commission Meeting of the Commission for East Asia and the Pacific and the Commission for South Asia on June 28 at Sheraton Mactan.

The forum will celebrate the power of gastronomy tourism by bringing together destinations and international experts to share knowledge and best practices, aiming to benefit local communities and the environment.

Tourism Secretary Ma. Ezperanza Christina Frasco has committed to taking proactive steps as a key player in driving positive change toward advancing the country’s tourism development.

As chair of the UN Tourism Commission for East Asia and the Pacific, the Philippines commits fully to leveraging the region’s strategic position to promote a range of initiatives that will benefit not only our country but also our neighbors, particularly, its rich and diverse gastronomy tourism portfolio,” Frasco said in a DOT report.

We are closely working with our partners to ensure that our forum delegates coming from all over the world will be able to immerse deep in our rich culinary traditions and [be] treated with nothing less than the warm hospitality that Filipinos are known for all over the world,” she added.

Cebu City will host over 300 participants composed of ministers from various countries, UN Tourism Member States and Affiliate Members, international and regional organizations, tourism stakeholders, and international experts in gastronomy tourism.

The event will follow a program based on the United Nations World Tourism Organisation’s (UNWTO) website.

The Day 1 session will outline policies and strategies for developing and promoting gastronomy tourism to enhance brand positioning, diversify products, ensure inclusiveness, add value, increase spending, and connect with other sectors while showcasing successful initiatives in Asia and the Pacific and promoting sustainable practices such as local sourcing and food waste reduction.

Meanwhile, the international participants will have an optional technical tour to explore various tourist attractions and gastronomy in Cebu City on Day 2 of the event.

Before the country’s designation as the Gastronomy Forum host, the Philippines had been gaining international acclaim for its distinctive culinary traditions. Iloilo City was designated by UNESCO as the Philippines’ first “Creative City of Gastronomy”, while Filipina Chef Maria Margarita A. Forés was named Ambassador for Gastronomy Tourism by the United Nations World Tourism Organisation.

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Mary Ann R. Tapalla
Mary Ann R. Tapalla
Mary Ann R. Tapalla is a senior journalism student at the Polytechnic University of the Philippines. She is an enthusiast of outdoor activities, enjoys engaging with others, and participates in sports such as jogging, volleyball, and badminton. She was born and raised in Bicolandia where she nurtured her aspiration to become a journalist from a young age.

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