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CEBU, PHILIPPINES — It’s all systems go as the Philippines Department of Tourism (DOT) and various stakeholders from the public and private sectors, join hands in preparing for the Philippines’ hosting of the 36th Joint Commission Meeting of the Commission for East Asia and the Pacific and the Commission for South Asia (CAP-CSA), and the inaugural UN Tourism Regional Forum on Gastronomy Tourism for Asia and the Pacific in Cebu.
The back-to-back meetings, happening from June 26-28, 2024, are expected to draw over 400 delegates from CAP-CSA countries, associate members, affiliate members, officials and strategic partners of UN Tourism, ministers as well as representatives of diplomatic corps, academe, gastronomy stakeholders, national and local government officials, legislators, media, among others, from more than 30 countries including Afghanistan, Argentina, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Brunei, Cameroon, Chile, China, Fiji, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Iran, Japan, Lao PDR, Macao, Malaysia, Maldives, Mongolia, Myanmar, Papua New Guinea, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Thailand, Timor Leste, United Arab Emirates, United States of America, and Vietnam.
With only a few days left before the delegates’ arrival in Cebu, Secretary Frasco reaffirmed the country’s readiness to welcome them.
“As we usher in this golden era of tourism under the leadership of President Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ R. Marcos, Jr., we embrace the opportunity to showcase the Philippines to the world. This is exemplified by our hosting of the inaugural UN Tourism Regional Forum on Gastronomy Tourism for Asia and the Pacific and the 36th Joint Commission Meeting of the Commission for East Asia and the Pacific and the Commission for South Asia (CAP-CSA). We are prepared to welcome all our delegates from UN Tourism member states and affiliates to the Philippines, particularly to Cebu, a province renowned for its rich gastronomy, stunning tourism and dive spots, vibrant heritage and culture, and its significance as the cradle of Christianity in the country,” Secretary Frasco said.
“The Philippines’ hosting of these significant events is also a chance to showcase our strength as a premier destination for Meetings, Incentives, Conventions, and Exhibitions (M.I.C.E.), and attract prospects for partnerships and collaboration within and outside of the Asia and the Pacific region which can redound to growth for the economy and more opportunities for our fellow Filipinos,” the DOT chief added.
The hosting of the UN Tourism events follows the election of the Philippines, represented by Tourism Secretary Christina Garcia Frasco, as Vice President of the 25th General Assembly of the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO – now known as UN Tourism) during the 55th Meeting of the UNWTO Regional Commission for East Asia and the Pacific held in Cambodia on June 16, 2023. The last time the Philippines held this position was in 1999, 24 years ago.
In the same meeting, the Philippines was also elected as Chair of the Commission for East Asia and the Pacific, with its candidature uncontested. As Chair, the Philippines will preside over meetings to address regional concerns during the 36th CAP-CSA scheduled for June 28, 2024.
To ensure a seamless hosting of the UN Tourism events, the DOT has partnered with public and private agencies to ensure a safe and memorable experience for all delegates, conducting various briefings including on the Filipino Brand of Service Excellence (FBSE) training program for tourism frontliners in the airport, billeting hotels, and partner local government units (LGUs), as well as for liaison officers, student volunteers, and close-in security during the meetings.
Through its Regional Office in Central Visayas, the DOT has also conducted rigorous inspections of the forum venues and billeting hotels to ensure preparedness, particularly in security, emergency preparedness, and room accommodations. Dedicated information counters will be installed at these establishments to assist delegates.
“As we hold the honor of hosting these prestigious UN Tourism events in just a few days, I would like to extend my heartfelt gratitude to all our partners and stakeholders for their unwavering support and dedication which led us to this point. Together, we will showcase the best of Filipino hospitality, culture, and cuisine to the world. Let us continue to put our best foot forward and make this a memorable and successful event for all our guests, showing them why our country is a destination like no other and giving them every reason to love the Philippines, and to keep coming back again and again,” Secretary Frasco said.

Published:June 22, 2024

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