Bacolod eyes to boost food tourism

By Glazyl Y. Masculino

BACOLOD City – Mayor Alfredo “Albee” Benitez said yesterday that the local government is in negotiation with Slow Food International in a bid to promote the city’s food tourism.

“We don’t want to reinvent the wheel. But we just want the technology using their goodwill and what they have built. So now, we will just collaborate with them,” the mayor said.

Benitez said that the idea is to promote Bacolod as a slow food destination in Asia since Slow Food International is one of the very successful food tourism programs in Europe.

“Kung may ara Europe na counterpart. Basi may ara man Asian counterpart, and what we’re promoting is to make Bacolod as the center of that program,” the mayor said.

Benitez said that slow food means that the food does not only taste good, but it should also have a sustainable way of getting or creating the ingredients.

We are known to be a food destination, let’s build on that, Benitez said, adding that creative food could be a tool for promoting food tourism here.

Benitez said that they will come up with a program that can enhance visitors and tourism arrivals in the city and make food a major attraction.

Since food tourism is the city’s priority, Benitez said that this is something that they would want to present to Department of Tourism (DOT) Secretary Christina Garcia-Frasco to see what kind of collaboration they can have within the department in promoting food tourism here.

Frasco is in this city today, November 29, for the Philippine Experience Program, showcasing the culture and the arts, and culinary and heritage of Bacolod and some local government units (LGUs) in Negros Occidental.