DoT banks on farm tourism to ex­pand vis­i­tor ar­rivals

Business World - - AGRIBUSINESS | THE LUNCH GUIDE - By Maya M. Padillo Cor­re­spon­dent

DAVAO CITY — The Depart­ment of Tourism (DoT) is mak­ing a push for more farm tourism des­ti­na­tions around the coun­try to help bring in its tar­get eight mil­lion ar­rivals this year.

Tourism As­sis­tant Sec­re­tary Eden Josephine L. David told re­porters that the depart­ment’s cam­paigns and pro­grams for this year aim to strengthen part­ner­ships with the agri­cul­ture sec­tor.

“It’s re­ally tri­par­tite part­ner­ships and the pri­vate sec­tor is part of this, such as the tour op­er­a­tors, farm tourism op­er­a­tors, com­merce co­op­er­a­tives — and we are also be­ing as­sisted by the academe,” Ms. David said.

There are cur­rently 34 ac­cred­ited farm tourism fa­cil­i­ties around the coun­try, she said, and the DoT wants to in­crease the num­ber by help­ing po­ten­tial sites by hold­ing train­ing pro­grams to im­prove fa­cil­i­ties and pro­mo­tion.

In Davao op­er­a­tors are of­fer­ing “fruit tours,” high­light­ing the re­gion’s pro­duce such as ba­nana and durian.

The DoT is also work­ing with Mala­gos Agri-Ven­tures Corp., which has a moun­tain-gar­den re­sort in Davao City and is a lead­ing pro­ducer of co­coa as well as its own brand of choco­late.

“When you think of Davao you think of durian, choco­late or pomelo. When we think of Baguio, we think of straw­berry; Cal­abar­zon cof­fee; GenSan (Gen­eral San­tos City) tuna. So this is desti­na­tion mar­ket­ing,” she said.

The DoT of­fi­cial also said that boost­ing farm tourism will con­tribute to the Depart­ment of Agri­cul­ture’s (DA) food se­cu­rity ini­tia­tives.

Repub­lic Act 10816, or the Farm Tourism De­vel­op­ment Act, des­ig­nates the DoT sec­re­tary as chair of the Farm Tourism De­vel­op­ment Board while the DA head is vice-chair.

Ms. David said farm tourism also makes agri­cul­ture at­trac­tive to younger gen­er­a­tions.

“To en­gage the young gen­er­a­tion, we present a sexy as­pect of farm­ing like farm tourism,” she said.

Ms. David said mar­ket­ing pro­grams should be sup­ported by mea­sures im­prov­ing con­nec­tiv­ity within the ar­chi­pel­ago. “If we’re not in­ter­con­nected, like air and land con­nec­tiv­ity, that is a chal­lenge.”

The DoT set a tar­get of at least 6.7 mil­lion tourists in 2017. As of the first 10 months last year, the DoT re­ported 5.47 mil­lion ar­rivals.

MALA­GOS Agri-Ven­tures Corp. of­fers ca­cao farm tours, in­clud­ing a stop at their in­ter­ac­tive Choco­late Mu­seum in Davao City.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Philippines

© PressReader. All rights reserved.