In a bid to spur its food tourism campaign, the Department of Tourism (DOT) has launched today the latest edition of “Kain Na!” (Let’s Eat!) at the Ayala MarQuee Mall in Angeles City, Pampanga.
This year’s theme dubbed “Food Tourism Reboot”, Kain Na! is poised to continue food tourism exchanges, digital business training including e-learning modules, and an online selling platform from June 10 to 13, while the on-ground festivities are scheduled from June 11 to 13 in Ayala MarQuee Mall.
“Today marks the fourth year of the Department of Tourism launched of this food and travel festival with our partner, Ayala Malls. I have partnered with Ayala Malls even when I was with the Department of Agriculture, and I’m just happy that we’re able to continue this. Every year, this event has continued to evolve in response to the needs of our stakeholders,” said Tourism Sec. Berna Romulo-Puyat during the opening ceremony.
With 16 editions in four years, Kain Na! has grown into a premiere food travel event for consumers and merchants to interact.
24 physical booths were put up for the festival, each promoting local dishes and special products of food and farm tourism stakeholders across the country, in cooperation with different DOT regional offices and the Department of Agriculture.
In her speech, Sec. Puyat welcomed the participation of food tourism stakeholders and merchants from the Ilocos region, the Cordilleras, CALABARZON, MIMAROPA, SOCCSARGEN, Central Luzon, and representatives from the Department of Agriculture as well.
Among the participating booths of Central Luzon are Aleli’s Pastries, Apag Marangle/Cusina Manuela, Tollhouse; Sasmuan Local Products, Wil-Fel’s delicacies, Farmers Joy; Yamang Bukid Healthy Products, Grann Garden Shop, RV De Dios Food Manufacturing, Kaka Association Incorporation, My Lola Nor’s Meryendahan, and Florida-Lubao Organic Farmers Association.
Specialties like taba ng talangka (crab fat), taguilo (fermented rice), atsarang kapaya (pickled papaya), tibok-tibok (cream corn pudding), baguk (sauteed fermented fish paste), hopia, tuna chicharon, crab paste, salted duck eggs infused with moringa, lemongrass, pandas and guava, Batangas Barako and Kalinga coffee, and Cordillera’s agri-produce are some of the mouthwatering native delicacies that will entice visitors .
Food and farm tourism merchants will be at the venue until Sunday to bring delicious packages, local produce and products peppered with wonderful narratives about new food tourism destinations and experiences. The event is expected to provide networking opportunities to generate valuable business leads and establish connections with allies and partnerships.
This year’s “Kain Na!”editions will feature NCR’s travel through coffee experiences, Southern Luzon’s “A taste of Antipolo (an update)”, CALABARZON’s food farm faith circuit, and MIMAROPA’s island gastronomy including Marinduque’s heritage and heirloom dishes.
Puyat revealed that the Philippine Tour Operators Association (Philtoa) has organized a consortium for the development of food tourism packages. The Philtoa food tourism consortium will introduce travel packages that include day tours, overnight stays, and 3-day/2-night promos to culinary tourism destinations like Pampanga, Bulacan, CALABARZON, Baguio, Subic, Benguet, Mountain Province, La Union, Ilocos Norte, and Ilocos Sur.
“Apart from this food tourism market, over the next few days, we will be showcasing our food tourism destinations, through online travel, travelogues and immersive discussions,” she added.
A signature line-up of digital events, including the Global PROSPECTives in Food and Gastronomy Tourism, and Food Tourism Exchange are scheduled from June 10 to 13.
Meanwhile, the TED talks-inspired Food Tourism 101 features learning sessions to help viewers maximize their online presence through the Viber and Instagram. New culinary business models like cloud kitchens will likewise be introduced through the sessions.
The online store of KAIN NA! featuring various iconic food items and local delicacies, continues to be accessible at www.kainnastore.com. Online shoppers are treated to hundreds of food products from coffee, tea, and chocolate specialty stores, Ayala partner merchants, slow food and food trip merchants from Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. (Divine M. Recio)