Choco­late tour

Sun.Star Davao - - OPINION -

YOU know that the tourism sec­tor is into some­thing good when just the idea of its new­est ‘prod­uct’ is mak­ing you drool. A choco­late tour.

Bank­ing on the fact that the re­gion pro­duces one of the high­est grade ca­cao in the world, it is but a given equa­tion: that Davao should be en­tic­ing peo­ple to try its choco­lates. It’s a move that can en­tice those into the ca­cao in­dus­try to up­grade their tech­nol­ogy as well to en­sure that ca­cao main­tains its su­pe­rior qual­ity.

For the first time since a long time, Davao is push­ing a prod­uct that en­joys a clear ad­van­tage over oth­ers. No one else can stake a claim to our ca­cao, it is up to the re­gion and all its stake­hold­ers to en­sure that ca­cao brings in the tourists as well, be­cause then, the ben­e­fits trickle down up to the small­est sou­venir seller.

For so long, wine and vine­yard tours have been draw­ing tourists by the thou­sands in Napa Val­ley in Cal­i­for­nia, Tus­cany in Italy. Why not this other global prod­uct that crosses all palates and is sought af­ter by all?

The re­gion has long rec­og­nized that its strength re­mains in agri­cul­ture. It’s about time that agri­cul­ture does take the cen­ter­stage, not as ex­port prod­ucts shipped out in con­tainer vans that we can­not even see, but as prod­ucts that we can show from the farm where the beans are har­vested, to the back­yard tablea mak­ers, to the choco­late pro­duc­ers.

We have that, and we know that it’s a fun ex­pe­ri­ence, so aside from earn­ing big bucks from pro­duc­ing all those ca­cao beans and choco­late prod­ucts, we earn even more from every per­son who wants to ex­pe­ri­ence how their fa­vorite choco­late bars are made.

Here’s to hop­ing that from the choco­late tours will come more farm tours not only to bring in the tourist re­ceipts, but moreso to en­tice the pop­u­la­tion to fo­cus and build up on our great­est strength -- agri­cul­ture. There’s just too much ur­ban­iza­tion go­ing on, we have to stress that in the end, we all eat, and agri­cul­ture when pack­aged well will bring in as much or even more than the de­struc­tive in­dus­tries we seem to have been so en­am­ored about for the past decades.

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