Over the last weekend, the Philippine Department of Tourism successfully hosted the 21st World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) Global Summit. With this year’s theme “Rediscovering Travel,” leaders of the global tourism industry and key government representatives gathered to “align their efforts to support the sector’s recovery and move beyond to a safer, more resilient, inclusive and sustainable future.” The summit closed with high hopes for an industry battered by two years of the pandemic.
Julia Simpson, president and CEO of the WTTC, was all praises for the event: “I’m not often stumped for words, but I am now. Wow! What an amazing summit. We really have rediscovered travel. The extraordinary Philippine welcome is my personal highlight of the two-day summit,” she said at the opening ceremony.
Tourism Secretary Berna Romulo-Puyat said the summit gave our country the opportunity to showcase how beautiful our country is. “The Philippines is now a top-of-mind destination for delegates, many of whom had decided to stay to savor the rest of the country where we are setting an example of how to open safely. A new age of travel and tourism is upon us, and it is up to us to drive the change towards a better and more hopeful future,” she wrote on social media.
The good secretary tapped our very own chef Margarita Forés to cater a five-course dinner during the opening ceremony, held at the main plenary hall of the PICC. “I wanted to highlight the best of our cuisine, that’s why I also invited 12 Filipino chefs (this writer included) to contribute a dish each representing our diverse regional cuisines. It was a bayanihan, collective effort. After all, culinary tourism is now a major sector of world tourism. What better way to lure foreign tourists than with a most toothsome, glorious spread?” said Asia’s best female chef in 2016.