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The Philippines Shares Best Practices at the UNWTO World Forum on Gastronomy Tourism

Ambassador-designate Mylene J. Garcia-Albano (middle) joining the Philippine delegation led by DOT Undersecretary Verna Esmeralda Buensuceso to the 7th UNWTO World Forum on Gastronomy Tourism.

15 December 2022 – The Philippines, led by Department of Tourism (DOT) Verna Esmeralda Buensuceso, participated at the recently concluded 7th UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) World Forum on Gastronomy Tourism held in Nara, as an avenue to advance efforts for global tourism recovery and transformation.

The development of food and gastronomy tourism is part of DOT Secretary Christina Garcia-Frasco’s agenda to equalize tourism opportunities across more than 7,600 islands of the country and develop multi-dimensional tourism to diversify the Philippines’ product offerings.

Joining the Philippine delegation, Ambassador-designate Mylene J. Garcia-Albano remarked, “I congratulate the Nara Prefecture and the Japanese government, and the UNWTO and its partner organizations for putting the spotlight on gastronomy tourism to promote our culture, economy and environment. I am sure that the Philippines gained insights on harnessing the power of tourism in achieving our UN Sustainable Development Goals.”

At a session on “Women and Youth: A Spotlight on Talent,” Chef Maria Margarita A. Fores, UNWTO Ambassador for Sustainable Tourism, highlighted the Philippine experience and was optimistic that the role of women in the tourism sector will be stronger. CEO Liz Ortiguera of the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) emphasized “celebrating the humanistic approach,” and the “need to see icons like them” to encourage the women and youth to take leading roles.

The international forum was held under the theme “Gastronomy Tourism for People and Planet: Innovate, Empower and Preserve,” and focused on the role of gastronomy tourism as a platform for promoting sustainable tourism as a platform for promoting sustainable social development and the responsible use of food as a valuable resource, empowering women, creating opportunities for younger generations, and nurturing future talents.