Culinary tourism takes center stage
Catherine Talavera (The Philippine Star) - October 4, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The continued promotion of the country’s culinary tourism product is allowing more destinations in the country to attract more tourists, an official of the Department of Tourism (DOT) said.

“It’s a good strategy because you don’t only get to promote the product, but you also get to promote the destination,” Tourism Undersecretary Benito Bengzon Jr. said.

“And for a lot of travelers, it becomes a major motivation,” he added noting that there are tourists who would go to a certain destination to try a particular dish.

Bengzon emphasized that cuisine and culinary attractions are now strongly or prominently featured in the DOT’s promotion materials.

The DOT has been strengthening its promotions of culinary tourism through private sector partnerships for projects like Kain Na! food and travel festival with Ayala Malls and the Eats More Fun in the Philippines campaign with Jollibee.

The 2019 edition of Kain Na! was launched last week at the AyalaMalls Manila Bay, which featured food and farm tourism offerings of Central Luzon, CALABARZON, Bicol, Bacolod, Eastern Visayas, Cagayan de Oro and the Davao region.

Kain Na! not only showcases the richly diverse Filipino culinary heritage but also serves as a venue for business-to-business meetings through the Food and Farm Tourism Exchange, where regional culinary and farm tourism sellers meet with Manila-based buyers and tour operators invited though the Tourism Congress of the Philippines, the Philippine Tour Operators Association and the Philippine Travel Agencies Association.

In addition, this year’s Kain Na! will also highlight a food and farmers’ market where suppliers of iconic Filipino heritage cuisine and delicacies will be selling their wares along with local farms that will sell a variety of fresh agricultural products.

“There will be culinary and farm tourism presentations to whet the appetite of visitors to go on food trips to explore and discover the many flavors of the Philippines,” the DOT said.

More editions of Kain Na! will be held until the end of the year.

Among these are the Kain Na! editions on Oct. 4-6 at Alabang Town Center with the participation of Regions 7 (Central Visayas) and 4B (MIMAROPA); on Oct. 11-13 at Ayala Technohub-Baguio with Regions 1 (Ilocos), 2 (Cagayan Valley) and the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR); on Nov. 22-24 at Ayala Malls Centrio, Cagayan de Oro, with Regions 9 (Zamboanga Peninsula), 10 (Northern Mindanao), 12 (SOCCSKSARGEN) and 13 (Caraga); on Dec. 6-8 at Ayala Malls, The Strip, Iloilo City with Region 6 (Western Visayas) taking the spotlight.

CULINARY TOURISM
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