The Department of Tourism (DoT) has finally thrown in the towel on the fourth edition of Madrid Fusion Manila, citing the need “to focus its resources on the many pressing challenges in the industry, in particular to address the needs of sectors that require support as the tourism industry adopts a policy of sustainable tourism”.
Although DoT has the option to host the international gastronomy event for five years, the fourth edition, which was supposed to have taken place this year, has no taker yet from the private sector.
PACEOS (Philippine Association of Convention/Exhibition Organizers and Suppliers), which won the event management bidding for Madrid Fusion Manila in the first three years, cannot afford to do it on its own without government support, its president Joel Pascual told TTG Asia.
“It will be a tough call” as they don’t have the means to promote it to the world which is MFM’s direction, Pascual said.
On the other hand, Arnold Gonzales, Tourism Promotions Board deputy COO for marketing and promotions, said they might revive the World Street Food Congress next year.
Commenting on the impact of Madrid Fusion Manila, Gonzales said it has introduced and lifted the image of the erstwhile relatively unknown Philippine gastronomy in the world market, benefiting tourism, agriculture and other sectors of the economy.
DoT said in a statement that it “will continue its support of Filipino gastronomy by focusing its efforts on areas that will make it truly sustainable” and “will continue to develop and improve culinary and farm tourism product offerings, while the department’s foreign offices will continue to promote the country as a premier culinary destination to the international market”.