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Bacolod City, Philippines Friday, February 9, 2018
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More food tourism
events urged

The head of World Food Expo said Bacolod City and Negros Occidental are notable food destinations in the county but need to create more food tourism events to boost the industry.

Joel Pascual, president of WOFEX, said that when it comes to food, Bacolod will never be out of the list as, aside from having good food, many chefs in Manila came from the city.

Bacolod is hosting this year's kickoff event of WOFEX at the SMX Convention Center that opened yesterday with 50 exhibitors from all over the country. The 3-day activity will end tomorrow.

“Bacolod will never be out of the list when we talk about food. We should celebrate it and help the city and its surrounding local government units to improve their culinary scene to attract more domestic and foreign tourists,” Pascual said in an interview.

Pascual led the opening yesterday together with councilors from Bacolod City, representatives from the provincial government, the private sector, and food industry leaders in Negros.

Bacolod was chosen as host of WOFEX as the number of tourist arrivals and food establishments in the city is rising, he said.

“There are many tourists visiting Bacolod, given that the number of arrivals here is just second to Boracay. Any tourism experience there will always be food,” Pascual added.

This is the second time that Bacolod has hosted this 18-year-old event. The last was in 2016,butPascual said there are more exhibitors this time displaying their food products and the technology used in making them.

He also noted that, as the Philippines is a highly importing country, local companies participating in WOFEX this year represent products from all over the world.

“WOFEX is the business side of food. Through the event, we want the local players to help businesses package, process, preserve, and handle food,” he said.

Apart from exhibits, the event also opened the WOFEX University where experts in the food service industry discussed the latest trends and skills. It has three tracks, namely, Pastry and Bakery Series, Restaurant/Hospitality Series, and Catering Series.

WOFEX University also includes a special track on self development, where making money online strategies, and social media marketing and advertising will be discussed.

“WOFEX U is the educational part of this event as we want the individuals and food experts to improve their respective professions,” Pascual said.

After Bacolod, WOFEX will be in Cagayan de Oro, Cebu, Davao, and Manila to hold this year-long event.

He also urged Bacoleños and Negrenses to visit the exhibits and attend the lecture series in WOFEX to give them more ideas on the food industry. *MLG


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