DOT 12 participates in the 1st UN Tourism Regional Forum on Gastronomy Tourism


DOT 12 participates in the 1st UN Tourism Regional Forum on Gastronomy Tourism

The Department of Tourism Region (DOT) 12 was one of the participants in the first UN Tourism Regional Forum on Gastronomy Tourism, held from June 26-27, 2024, in The Marquee at Shangri-La Mactan, Cebu.

Co-organized by the UN World Tourism Organization, the Basque Culinary Center, the Philippine Department of Tourism (DOT), and the Cebu government, this event aims to celebrate the transformative power of gastronomy tourism. It brings together destinations and international experts to exchange knowledge and best practices, focusing on maximizing the benefits for local communities and the environment.

The two-day event welcomed over 500 global delegates. DOT Secretary Christina Garcia Frasco expressed optimism about the success of the event.

“I’m confident that our discussions will lead to invaluable insights and actionable strategies and collaborations to strengthen further the role of gastronomy in tourism in our region and our nations. Together, we can create a more sustainable, inclusive, and vibrant tourism landscape that honors our heritage and celebrates culinary excellence,” Secretary Frasco remarked.

DOT 12 participates in the 1st UN Tourism Regional Forum on Gastronomy Tourism

Following the panel discussions and keynote speeches, delegates enjoyed a regional lunch crafted by chefs from across the Philippines. The regional offices of the DOT showcased products that highlighted the many reasons to fall in love with the Philippines.

The DOT 12 Regional Director Nelia Arina and team, along with Chef Ronald Ferman, showcased GenSan’s renowned tuna and shared the rich culinary heritage of the region with the attendees.

“SOCCSKSARGEN is very honored to be part of this convergence of the vibrant diversity of culinary specialties from across the country. This is a celebration of our identity through our cuisine,” said RD Arina.

While General Santos serves as the gateway to the entire region, RD Arina emphasized that they are showcasing tuna as an introduction to the rich culinary delights of the area. This exquisitely symbolizes Soccsksargen’s heritage and prowess in the seafood world.

“This showcase is also our platform. Through tuna, we can share our narrative as a people and our living culture. We wish to leave a lasting impression and be considered another culinary gem within the global gastronomic sector,” she added.

DOT 12 participates in the 1st UN Tourism Regional Forum on Gastronomy Tourism

Chef Ferman felt grateful to be chosen as the chef for the region. He was honored to meet famous chefs and experience different cuisines in the Philippines. He was delighted to help showcase GenSan’s tuna, highlighting the rich marine resources of the region.

“The significance of promoting our food, particularly Tuna Sashimi, being the Tuna capital of the country, makes Tuna Sashimi fit to be featured in such an event. The dish not only highlights the rich marine resources of our region but also showcases Filipino culinary prowess in preparing seafood dishes,” said Chef Ferman.

“I believe that our region participated well. We were able to showcase our very own tuna sashimi delicacy with pride and honor,” he added.

Along with other regions, Soccsksargen has a tourism booth to showcase the region’s products, featuring the participation of K’Datu Souvenir Shop from Lake Sebu, South Cotabato.

DOT 12 participates in the 1st UN Tourism Regional Forum on Gastronomy Tourism

Gastronomy tourism has become a major motivator for travelers, with the World Food Travel Association reporting that over 80% of tourists consider food and drink when choosing a destination. Additionally, more than half (53%) of these travelers are classified as "culinary travelers."

A 2023 survey by found that 34% of tourists value restaurants and dining experiences as key ways to learn about local cultures and lifestyles.

In addition to the UN Tourism Regional Forum on Gastronomy Tourism for Asia and the Pacific, the Philippines hosted 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.



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