Top News DOT, partner agencies work to boost Philippine food tourism By TTG Asia / Posted on 9 September, 2021 16:04 The Philippine Department of Tourism (DOT) has inked a MoU with a trio of other government agencies to boost the promotion of Filipino culinary tradition and the country’s unique food tourism experiences. The MoU signing between DOT, the Department of Agriculture, National Commission for Culture and the Arts, and the Philippine Culinary Heritage Movement, is aimed at driving up preservation and promotion of Filipino culinary traditions to ensure transmission to future generations and to support food tourism stakeholders such as farmers and agri-communities. Government officials at virtual signing ceremony of a MoU to promote the country’s food tourism experiences The agencies will also collaborate to infuse food tourism in the celebration of the Filipino Food Month every April. “As we look forward to every annual celebration of Filipino Food Month, we would like to use this as a platform to promote travel for a taste of a place in order to get a sense of a place,” tourism secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said in her opening remarks during the virtual signing ceremony. A DA-NCCA-DOT-PCHM Technical Working Group shall be formed and will conduct quarterly meetings to ensure the smooth implementation of the activities and responsibilities enclosed in the MOU. DOT has been tasked to include its food and gastronomy tourism-related activities in the calendar of events for the Filipino Food Month. The department will also provide support to promote the Filipino Food Month through information dissemination via its platforms and networks. Romulo-Puyat pledged the DOT’s full support and cooperation in the initiative, underscoring the immense potential of Filipino food in tourism prior to the pandemic. “Our own internal studies in the DOT have revealed that prior to the pandemic in 2019, inbound tourists spent 22.4 per cent of their total expenditures on food and beverage items. For domestic tourists, eight per cent was devoted to F&B expenses and a big chunk of shopping expenses were also spent on foodie treats,” she said. Further, the DOT chief also highlighted the department’s ongoing efforts in harnessing the potentials of food tourism by formulating regional tourism circuits with food and farm experiences as the centerpiece of itineraries. She added that the DOT is also conducting food tourism resource inventories and mapping of key food tourism destinations in the country as well as facilitating capacity-building programmes to equip community stakeholders.