MINDANAO's authentic dishes and unique flavors will be the highlight in this year's Mindanao Travel and Tour Expo (MTTE 2010), which will take place during the Kadayawan Festival, with the theme "Comida Mindanao."

"This year, we will highlight Mindanao's food tourism. We will offer visitors the different flavors of the island," Davao Consortium of Travel & Tours and Allied Agencies (DCTTAA) president Charito Aranda said, during the MTTE press launch Monday at the newly-opened Pinnacle Hotel and Suites.

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She said they invited several sectors of the food industry and while she can't name them yet, 10 of them already confirmed to be part of MTTE 2010.

MTTE 2010 is a joint project of the Department of Tourism (DOT) and the private sectors with the aim to promote Mindanao tourism.

"This is a synergy between the business sector and the tourism industry," said Sonia Garcia, DOT Davao Region director. "We really don't have a Mindanao expo (of the same nature) outside of this," she said.

Aranda and Garcia were two of the speakers of the MTTE 2010's launch, along with City Tourism Officer Rizal Giovanni Aportadera, Jr., PLDT SME community consultant Irene Ngosiok, and AirPhil operations manager James Casas.

"We commend the efforts of MTTE because participation from both public and private sectors are welcome especially for the Kadayawan festival," Aportadera said.

He said the official lineup of events for the Kadayawan will come out in the first week of August.

Garcia said that regional offices have expressed their interest to grace the said event. She added that during the event, they will launch the Halal Program, which will emphasize Davao's openness to tourism since the city is the gateway to Mindanao as well as to BIMP-Eaga sub-economic region.

The MTTE 2010 Food Festival and Travel Exhibit will take place on August 20-22 at the Davao Convention and Trade Center.

"We will expect more this year, especially with the support and cooperation of the government, the business sectors and the media," Aranda said. (Marie Angeli Laxa)