Robust culinary tourism prompts GrabFood to expand to Iloilo City

By Emme Rose Santiagudo

As one of the centers of culinary tourism in Western Visayas, Iloilo City has become the newest city in the country to open its doors to Grab’s food delivery service through GrabFood.

Grab, the leading every day everything app in Southeast Asia has launched its GrabFood in Iloilo City on Thursday to bring food delivery convenience to Ilonggos just in time for Dinagyang 2020.

Jo-ann Yoshida, Grab Philippines’ regional head for Western Visayas said Iloilo City is driven by its delectable cuisines, rich food, and digital city push.

She noted that Iloilo City is being positioned in many different campaigns.

“There are so many things that Iloilo City is being positioned right now. From being a premier MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences/conventions, exhibitions/events) destination to becoming a digital city and a center of culinary tourism,” she said during the launching.

With the expansion of GrabFood in the metro, EJ Dela Vega head of Grab Food Philippines said they hope to promote the city’s culinary tourism and bring more livelihood opportunities for the Ilongggos through technology.

“AS tourism continues to boom in Iloilo, we want to be there to support it. As we expand GrabFood’s operations in the country, we recognize that our job doesn’t end from delivering a meal to our consumers. We are inspired by our deeper goal of delivering positive impact into the lives of our partners and the people who take pride in the development of their city,” he said.

Meanwhile, lawyer Helen Catalbas regional director the Department of Tourism (DOT) 6 noted the strong culinary tourism in Iloilo City.

According to Catalbas, the expansion of Grab can also bridge the gap between production and consumption, even to the grassroots levels.

“Tourism is not only for the haves. It is also for the grassroots level so, with the help of Grab, we would be able to bridge the gap from production to consumption, completing the cycle,” she said.

Catalbas also challenged the food sector in the region to prepare and produce more food with the increasing number of tourists and residents in the region.

“The region is composed of 8 million residents and 5.8 million tourists that is how many to feed and this is not a joke. This is a challenge for start-ups, SMEs, and established hotels, to prepare and produce more food not only for the locals but also for the tourists,” she added.

Following the launching of Grab Food in Iloilo City, Yoshida said it will be available up to the neighboring towns of Pavia and Oton as they continue to look for opportunities to expand in more areas.

GrabFood also announced its partnerships with local restaurants and chain establishments in the metro, such as Jo’s Chicken Inato, Lechon House, Loco Local Coffee, Netongs, Lar’s Buko Batchoy Eatery, Kucho, Harry’s Seafood Bistro, Floyd Famous BBQ, JD Burger Project, MYO Cafe and more.

Ilonggos can avail of a discount of P100 for their first five orders by using the promo code GFILOILO for P400 worth of minimum orders.

For Dinagyang 2020, GrabFood also partnered with “Kaon Ta, Iloilo!” which will feature more than 50 of the best and trendiest restaurants in the metro through the Ilonggo Food Festival at the Arsenal area in City Proper from January 24-26, 2020.

Currently, GrabFood is available in the 37 cities in the country.

It was 2015 when Grab first introduced its Grab Taxi in Iloilo City.