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Cebu, Philippines Set to Host Inaugural UN Asia-Pacific Gastronomy Tourism Forum

UN Asia-Pacific Gastronomy Tourism Forum
Cebu City, Philippines, is set to host a groundbreaking event as it welcomes the inaugural United Nations (UN) Tourism Regional Forum on Gastronomy Tourism for Asia and the Pacific.

Scheduled for June 26-27, the forum will convene at Shangri-La Mactan, alongside the 36th UN Tourism Joint Commission Meeting for East Asia and the Pacific and South Asia on June 28 at Sheraton Mactan.

Celebrating Culinary Excellence

Organized by the UN Tourism, the Basque Culinary Center, and the Department of Tourism (DOT), this two-day forum aims to celebrate the transformative power of gastronomy tourism. It will gather destinations, international experts, and stakeholders to exchange knowledge and best practices, with a focus on benefiting local communities and also promoting sustainable practices.

Tourism Secretary Ma. Ezperanza Christina Frasco emphasized the Philippines’ proactive role in advancing tourism development. As chair of the UN Tourism Commission for East Asia and the Pacific, Frasco highlighted the country’s commitment to leveraging regional strengths in promoting initiatives that enhance gastronomy tourism across borders.

Over 300 participants, including ministers from various countries, UN Tourism Member States, international organizations, tourism stakeholders, and gastronomy tourism experts, will gather in Cebu City. The event promises to showcase the Philippines’ rich culinary heritage and warm hospitality to delegates from around the globe.

Agenda and Highlights

The forum’s agenda, aligned with the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) guidelines, includes discussions on policy frameworks, strategies for brand enhancement, product diversification, inclusivity, value addition, as well as sustainable practices like local sourcing and food waste reduction. The forum will highlight successful initiatives from Asia and the Pacific, emphasizing the region’s dynamic gastronomy tourism landscape.

Participants will have the opportunity to engage in a technical tour on Day 2, exploring Cebu City’s tourist attractions and culinary delights. This immersive experience aims to showcase the city’s vibrant gastronomic scene and cultural heritage.

Before hosting this prestigious forum, the Philippines had garnered international acclaim for its culinary traditions. UNESCO designated Iloilo City as the country’s first “Creative City of Gastronomy,” while the UNWTO appointed Filipina Chef Maria Margarita A. Forés as Ambassador for Gastronomy Tourism.


Cebu City’s role as the host of the inaugural UN Asia-Pacific Gastronomy Tourism Forum underscores its commitment to advancing sustainable tourism practices and celebrating the Philippines’ diverse culinary heritage.

This forum not only showcases the city’s vibrant gastronomic scene and cultural richness but also aligns with UNWTO guidelines to drive policy frameworks and strategies for inclusive and sustainable tourism development in Asia-Pacific.


Read Also: Philippine Role in 2025 UN Ocean Conference ‘Significant’, Says French Envoy


Written by Marjo Piedad

Traveler | Foodie | CONTENT EDITOR
📍Cebu, Philippines
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