Cebu province showcases gastronomy tourism at inaugural UN Tourism Regional Forum

From left: UN Tourism Ambassador for Gastronomy Tourism, Chef Vicky Cheng of VEA Restaurant in Hong Kong; Basque Culinary Center (BCC) of Spain Director of Masters and Courses, Idoia Calleja; UN Tourism Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili, Department of Tourism (DOT) Secretary Christina Garcia Frasco; Lapu-Lapu City Mayor Junard Chan, and Lapu-Lapu City Lone District Representative Ma. Cynthia "Cindi" King Chan led dignitaries in the symbolic pouring of rice into a giant pusô, signaling the opening of the inaugural UN Tourism Regional Forum on Gastronomy Tourism for Asia and the Pacific on June 26, at The Marquee at Shangri-La Mactan.
From left: UN Tourism Ambassador for Gastronomy Tourism, Chef Vicky Cheng of VEA Restaurant in Hong Kong; Basque Culinary Center (BCC) of Spain Director of Masters and Courses, Idoia Calleja; UN Tourism Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili, Department of Tourism (DOT) Secretary Christina Garcia Frasco; Lapu-Lapu City Mayor Junard Chan, and Lapu-Lapu City Lone District Representative Ma. Cynthia "Cindi" King Chan led dignitaries in the symbolic pouring of rice into a giant pusô, signaling the opening of the inaugural UN Tourism Regional Forum on Gastronomy Tourism for Asia and the Pacific on June 26, at The Marquee at Shangri-La Mactan.

A grand display of Cebu's sights, sounds, and tastes welcomed over 500 global delegates to the inaugural UN Tourism Regional Forum on Gastronomy Tourism for Asia and the Pacific as the forum formally opened on June 26, 2024, at The Marquee at Shangri-La Mactan.

Co-organized by the UN Tourism, the Basque Culinary Center, and the Philippine Department of Tourism (DOT), the event seeks to become a platform to celebrate the power of gastronomy tourism by bringing together destinations and international experts in an exchange of knowledge and best practices, in order to fully harness the transformative power of gastronomy tourism, especially its benefits to local communities and the environment.

To formally open the inaugural forum, Tourism Secretary Christina Garcia Frasco, UN Tourism Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili, Basque Culinary Center (BCC) of Spain Director of Masters and Courses Idoia Calleja, Lapu-Lapu City Lone District Representative Ma. Cynthia "Cindi" King Chan, Lapu-Lapu City Mayor Junard Chan, UN Tourism Ambassador for Gastronomy Tourism Chef Vicky Cheng of VEA Restaurant in Hong Kong, and foreign dignitaries led the ceremonial pouring of rice into a giant pusô, a rice cake made by boiling rice in a woven pouch of palm leaves. The pusô is a major culinary pride of Cebuanos, just one of the diverse gastronomic offerings that can be found in the Philippines.

In addition to the UN Tourism Regional Forum on Gastronomy Tourism for Asia and the Pacific, the Philippines is hosting the 36th Joint Commission Meeting of the Commission for East Asia and the Pacific and the Commission for South Asia (CAP-CSA) on June 28, 2024.

The back-to-back meetings invite delegates from CAP-CSA countries, associate members, affiliate members, officials and strategic partners of UN Tourism, ministers as well as representatives of diplomatic corps, academia, gastronomy stakeholders, national and local government officials, legislators, and media, among others, from more than 40 countries including Afghanistan, Argentina, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Brunei, Cameroon, Chile, China, Fiji, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Iran, Japan, Lao PDR, Macao, Malaysia, Maldives, Mongolia, Myanmar, Papua New Guinea, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Thailand, Timor-Leste, United Arab Emirates, United States of America, and Vietnam. S

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