UN Tourism Regional Forum celebrates gastronomy tourism in Cebu

UN Tourism Regional Forum celebrates gastronomy tourism in Cebu
Photo from Department of Tourism-Philippines

THE inaugural UN Tourism Regional Forum on Gastronomy Tourism for Asia and the Pacific kicked off on Wednesday, June 26, 2024, at Shangri-La Mactan in Cebu.

The event, co-organized by the UN Tourism, Basque Culinary Center, and the Department of Tourism (DOT), aims to become a platform to celebrate the power of gastronomy tourism.

Over 500 global delegates, including ministers from UN member-states, affiliate members, and tourism stakeholders from international organizations, gathered to exchange knowledge and best practices in harnessing the transformative power of gastronomy tourism, especially for the benefit of local communities and the environment.

The forum was formally opened with a ceremonial pouring of rice into a giant pusô, a traditional Cebuano rice cake, symbolizing the diverse gastronomic offerings that the Philippines has to offer.

Tourism Secretary Christina Garcia Frasco, UN Tourism Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili, and other dignitaries led the ceremony.

Aside from the gastronomy forum, the Philippines is also 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.

The back-to-back events are expected to draw delegates from over 40 countries across the Asia-Pacific region.

The Philippines, as chair of the UN Tourism Commission for East Asia and the Pacific, is committed to leveraging the region's strategic position to promote initiatives that will benefit not only the country but also its neighbors, particularly in the area of gastronomy tourism. (Jessa M. Magbutay, NWSSU intern)

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