FARM TOURISM IN THE PHILIPPINES

FARM TOURISM IN THE PHILIPPINES BRIEFER Photos from: GarinFarm, Iloilo. www.garinfarm.com; Duran Farm, Bulacan, www.duranfarm.com Briefer on the Far...
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FARM TOURISM IN THE PHILIPPINES BRIEFER

Photos from: GarinFarm, Iloilo. www.garinfarm.com; Duran Farm, Bulacan, www.duranfarm.com

Briefer on the Farm Tourism in the Philippines

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Briefer on the Farm Tourism in the Philippines Prepared by Vincent Samonte For the Office of Rep. Sharon S. Garin AAMBIS-Owa Party-list 11 November 2014, Quezon City

Briefer on the Farm Tourism in the Philippines

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The Sector of Agriculture and Tourism in the Philippines Agriculture and tourism plays a major role in the country’s economic and cultural development. According to the Bureau of Agricultural Statistics (BAS), the Philippines employs a third of the population under the agriculture sector which is about 12 million workers. On the other hand, roughly a tenth of the country’s employed segment of the population works in the tourism industry, according to the National Statistical Coordination Board (NSCB). It is the responsibility of the state to promote awareness and understanding of the benefits and importance of agriculture, promote environment-friendly and sustainable farm practices, and generate more job opportunities especially in the sector of agriculture. The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) has reported problems concerning the conversion of agricultural lands to commercial or residential purposes. There seemed no incentives for farmers or farm owners to pursue having agricultural lands in the country. Tourism, in addition, is also one of the countries’ means to promote socioeconomic growth and cultural affirmation. It generates investment and foreign exchange. The combination of two major sectors, agriculture and tourism, could help further boost economic growth and generate additional employment. This is the motivation behind the creation of the Farm Tourism Act of 2014 which will establish a comprehensive program for the development and promotion of farm tourism in the country.

Farm Tourism Defined Farm tourism also known as agri-tourism refers to the practice of attracting visitors and travelers to farm areas for production, educational and recreational purposes. It involves any agricultural based operation or activity that brings farmers, visitors or tourists who want to be educated and trained on farming as well as to provide a venue for outdoor recreation without necessarily altering the agricultural nature of the land.

ASEAN countries where farm tourism is practiced In the Southeast Asia, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Thailand offers equally well-developed agri-tourism. In these countries, tourist visitors can opt to stay with a household or “host family” in a rural community for the purpose of cultural immersion.

Places in the Philippines where farm tourism is practiced Agri-tourism has been initiated in different part of the countries since the 1990s. An hour away from Metro Manila is Gawad Kalinga Enchanted Farm located in Angat, Bulacan. It considers itself as a “farm village university” where communities live Briefer on the Farm Tourism in the Philippines

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together, study technical courses and do farming while encouraging visitors to experience the life in the farm through different activities such as hiking, bird-watching, campfires, “harvest-your-own” fruit and overnight stays. Duran Farm also located in Bulacan, is also a known farm tourism destination in Luzon where local and foreign visitors go to learn about best practices in vegetable production. It also served as a venue for private companies conducting seminars and training programs. Another agri-tourism site is the Costales Nature Farm in Majayjay, Laguna visited by more than 3,000 tourists (local and foreign) every month with different purposes--farmer visitors learn how organic farming is done, businessmen check the place up for possible investment, students conduct their educational tours, while families spend special occasions such as birthdays in the farm. Other agri-tourism sites are the leisure farms in Batangas, the mango farms in Guimaras, and the rice farms in Bacolod City and Negros Occidental. In some parts of Batangas and Cavite provinces, agri-tourism is practiced by leasing land for a period of time so that tourists can grow and harvest their own produce. The strawberry and organic vegetable farms of Benguet are also well-known for the pick-your-own-fruit activities. Bukidnon, which is host to vast pineapple and coffee plantations, is tagged as one of the ideal spots in agri-tourism. Annex 1 provides the list of accredited farm tourism sites in the country.

The Benefits of Farm tourism Farming is considered as a vital piece of Filipino culture, thus it can easily be cultivated into an agricultural tourism activity. Some of the benefits of farm tourism include: 1) Economic and Social Benefits Farm tourism offers a pathway to economic development in rural areas. It attracts visitors and generates more employment for the locals. Farm tourism offers a route to pull the strong, mature agricultural sector up and at the same time enhance the tourism sector. The Philippines could create an estimate of 14.6 million new jobs by 2016, according to experts, should the government adopt various reforms geared towards enhancing the business environment, particularly in the sectors of agriculture and tourism. It has been pointed out in different studies that there is a growing need to further develop the countryside to encourage reverse migration and decrease the population in different cities especially in Metro Manila. Spreading the benefits of tourism and agriculture can largely contribute to poverty alleviation.

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2.) Education Agri-tourism not only benefits the economy and the Filipino society but it also helps in educating the new generation about the importance of the environment in ensuring food security and balanced eco-system. Farm Tourism provides an avenue for technology transfer. Technology transfer is a process where technologies developed by a certain group or person are passed on to farmers. During visits and trips, tourists will be exposed to the technology and techniques being used in agricultural farming. 3.) Health Benefits Farm tourism encourages organic farming. The practice of organic farming is seen to reduce pollution and toxic substances such as pesticides and synthetic fertilizers in the environment which could ensure safer water among farmers and residents. Moreover, organic farming assists the fight against climate change because it avoids chemical fertilizers and pesticides, thus reducing nonrenewable energy use. 4.) Heritage and Ecological Conservation Agricultural activities have been part of the Filipino culture since time immemorial. Farm tourism activities help the visitors especially the youth to appreciate the beauty of nature as it is and instill how important farming is to the Filipino community.

Other Industries that will benefit from Farm Tourism The food and beverage industry along with hospitality sector offering accommodation and transportation facilities will definitely benefit from farm tourism. Hospitality sector is seen to improve as it is vital to have appropriate accommodation arrangements for tourists visiting the Philippines. As many of the farm tourism sites are distributed throughout the country, the arrival of tourists demand for better modes of transportation to bring them to and from their destinations.

Why choose the Philippines as a farm tourism site to visit and invest in? The Philippines with its distinct archipelagic feature offers ideal conditions which position itself as one of the best destinations for farm tourism. It is one of the largest archipelago in the world composed of 7,101 islands and has about 11 million hectares of agricultural lands. It offers diverse agricultural products which is seen as an asset in promoting different farm tourism sites. These varied offerings can bring revenue to the sectors of agriculture and tourism which can create about 14 million jobs.

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The country’s tropical climate and fertile soil makes it an ideal place for agriculture. The country has also been known to be rich in different and incredible species of fauna and flora. Aside from the geographic features of the Philippines, the ability of the Filipinos to speak English is also seen as a favorable characteristic making it easier for tourists to communicate with the locals which also makes the country more tourist-friendly.

Government initiatives Tourism and agriculture are two of the highest priorities of the Philippine Development Plan (PDP) from 2011 to 2016. The government has identified promising business opportunities for investors to capitalize in accommodation and transportation aside from agriculture. Currently, the Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Training Institute and the Department of Tourism are the two government agencies which promote farm tourism in the country. There are 28 accredited farm tourism sites under the DA and 5 under the DOT. Executive Orders and Memorandum Circulars may be created to enhance the promotion of the farm tourism in the country but these measures are still not enough to strengthen the farm tourism industry. A strong policy on farm tourism is needed to ensure that this industry will contribute to economic growth. Hence, the urgent enactment of the Farm Tourism Act of 2014 is being pushed through.

The Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Training Institute (DAATI) as a supervisory arm of the government The DA-ATI is the overall manager of agriculture and fisheries training and extension in the Philippines. The agency has joint projects. Its mandate as apex agency for a unified and efficient agriculture and fisheries extension (AFE) services in the country, has the following priority programs:      

ATI Regular Programs Commodity-based and technology focused marketing and agribusiness related to supply value chain Institutional development for cooperatives, rural-based organizations, and farmers' groups Extension delivery systems for agricultural extension workers Farmer-Led Extension Farmers' Field School

These programs aim to enhance access to AFE’s knowledge products and services; strengthen their competitiveness and capacities; expand partnerships with different nongovernment organizations and the academe to further promote farm tourism; and strengthen their capacity in Climate Change Adaptation and Readiness.

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The Farm Tourism Movers' of the Philippines Association, Inc In the Philippines, there are associations which push for the development of farm tourism. One of which is the Farm Tourism Movers’ of the Philippines Association, Inc. which is headed by Dr. Francisco dela Peña, Jr. who is also the President-CEO of ACES Polytechnic College located in Davao Del Norte. Farm Tourism Movers’ of the Philippines Association, Inc. aims to provide additional income for the marginalized farmers through farm tourism. It also assists farm operators and would-be operators in planning, operations and management through symposium, workshops and the likes. The ACES Polytechnic College in Partnership with the Alliance of Concerned Entrepreneurs for Food Security (ACE-FS) established in 2010, the Natural Farming Institute located at Panabo City, Davao. The National Farming Institute envisions to train farmers and community leaders who are advocates of sustainable farming and to maximize productivity and ensure environmental protection. The DA-ATI supervises these NGOs and taps them for joint projects. Dr. Francisco dela Peña, Jr. can be contacted through (084)822-4182 and [email protected]

The Farm Tourism Act of 2014 Currently, the Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Training Institute and the Department of Tourism manage in promoting farm tourism in the country. Under the DA, there are 28 accredited farm tourism sites while there are only 5 under the DOT. Farm tourism sites owners and investors may find it confusing which government body is solely responsible for the accreditation of such sites. There is a strong need to have a single body to manage and coordinate the farm tourism activities in the Philippines. Hence, the enactment of the Farm Tourism Act of 2014 is earnestly sought. The bill lays down the functions and the organizational structure of the newly created agency, the Philippine Farm Tourism Industry Development Coordinating Council (PFTIDCC), which will be administratively attached to the Department of Tourism (DOT). 1. The PFTIDCC is tasked to prepare and implement a Comprehensive National Farm Tourism Industry Development Plan; establish and maintain a comprehensive farm tourism information system; formulate farm tourism research and development projects; and provide for the registration and accreditation of farm tourism practitioners and operators. 2. Aside from the Department of Agriculture (DA) and Department of Tourism (DOT), other agencies such as the Department of Environment and Natural

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Resources (DENR), Department of Education (DepEd), Commission on Higher Education (CHED), Department of Science and Technology (DOST), Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Philippine Information agency (PIA), Department of Local and Interior Government (DILG), National Economic Development Authority (NEDA), and local government units are tasked to work together for the efficient operations of the PFTIDCC. 3. The DOT and the DA in collaboration with other agencies mentioned shall formulate a 6-year farm tourism strategic development plan which shall be evaluated and updated every three years. The development plan includes the identification of farm tourism sites; education and promotional support; infrastructure, investment, and market promotion; possible extension programs; and research and development. 4. The PFTIDCC shall be composed of the secretaries of the 10 mentioned agencies above having the DOT and DA secretaries as chairperson and co-chairperson, respectively, plus a representative from the Union of Local Authorities of the Philippines and 6 representatives (2 from each mega regions of Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao) from farm tourism associations / organizations recognized by the DA or the DOT. 5. The PFTIDCC is mandated to encourage the establishment of at least one tourism farm in every province in the country. 6. Accreditation of the PFTIDCC shall be valid for 2 years only.

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Annex 1: List of Farm Tourism Sites in the Philippines Accredited by the DA or DOT Luzon Kahariam Realty & Farms Inc. Moca Agri-Farm

Costales Nature Farms Hacienda Macalauan Inc.

Brgy. Adya, Lipa City, Batangas Brgy. Castillo, Batangas

Brgy, Gagalot, Majayjay, Laguna Brgy. Tubero, Calauan, Laguna

University of the Philippines Los Baños Gourmet Farm

Los Baños, Laguna

Sonya’s Garden

Brgy. Buck Estate, Alfonso, Cavite Km. 47 Aguinaldo Highway, Lalaan 1, Silang Cavite

Ilog Maria Honey Bee Farm Tomato Farms National Apiculture Research Training Development Institute Central Luzon State Univeristy D. Duran Farm Agribusiness & Training Center

0906-449-1040 www.kahariamfarms.com 0919-479-0566 [email protected] www.mocafarm.com (049)537-3432 www.costalesnaturefarms.com (049)568-0152 http://www.hmi.net.ph/ (049)536-2928 www.uplb.edu.ph

Silang, Cavite

NFC, Sarrat, Piddig, Ilocos Norte DMMMSU-NARTDI, Bacnotan, La Union Muñoz Science City, Nueva Ecija 131 Basuit, San Ildefonso, Bulacan

www.gourmet.com.ph 0917-532-9097 www.sonyasgarden.com (046)865-0018; 0917-5039156 www.ilogmaria.com

www.dmmmsu-nluc.org

(044)456-5238 Clsu.edu.ph 0917-525-8161; 0922-8927478 [email protected] www.duranfarm.com 0916-225-3363 Gk1world.com/gk-enchantedfarm 0917-510-1853 [email protected] 0917-387-2011; (045)4930719 [email protected]

Gawad Kalinga Enchanted Farm

Angat, Bulacan

Borja Egg Farm Bernie’s Farm (ASGAIC)

Brgy. San Jose, Magalang, Pampanga 373 Amucao, Tarlac City

Palawan Butterfly Garden

Puerto Princesa, Palawan

https://www.facebook.com/ PalawanButterflyEcoGarden AndTribalVillage

Bridge Farm

Km 59 San Rafael, Puerto Princesa City, Palawan Sta. Monica, Puerto Princesa City, Palawan Camalig, Albay

0921-292-8974 [email protected] (048)433-4373; 0928-5040716; 0916-552-6340 (052)484-1178 www.facebook.com/pages/ Juboken-Enterprises-Inc

DA-PAES Agri-tourism Farm Juboken Farm and Enterprise

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Visayas Our Lady of the Philippines Trappist Monastery Bohol Bee Farm Restaurant and Resort

San Miguel, Jordan, Guimaras

http://www.ourladyofnewhelfta. com/OLP/

Dao, Dauis, Bohol

Pamora Farm Orchard Valley Inc. Peñalosa Farms

Km. 396 Garreta, Pidigan, Abra Tigum, Pavia, Iloilo Victorias City, Negros Occidental

0917-710-1061 [email protected] om www.pamorafarm.com 0922-893-3415 (034)399-2784/399-2847; 0918-938-2152 [email protected]

Mindanao KampoJuan EcoAdventure Farm Monte Vicentaue Resort Mindanao Baptist Rural Life Center Del Monte Philippines Menzi Agricultural Development Paradise Organic Farm ACES Natural Farm

Sitio Mapait, Dicklum, Bukidnon

(088)228-2409; 228-2409

Purok G-Melina, Brgy. New Passi, Sultan Kudarat 97 Ponciano St., Brgy. Bansalan, Davao Del Sur Camp Philipps, Bukidnon

0918-588-8914 [email protected] (082)221-1186

Camilag, Manolo Fortich, Bukidnon Roxas Concepcion, Koronadal City Peda, San Francisco, Panabo City

Briefer on the Farm Tourism in the Philippines

[email protected]

(02)672-7282 www.delmonte.ph www.menzi.ph 0920-2005151 [email protected] 084.822-4182; 0999-9952506 [email protected]

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Bill pushes Philippine farms as tourist destinations By Patricia Lourdes Viray (philstar.com) | Updated October 30, 2014 - 11:33am Source: http://www.philstar.com/nation/2014/10/30/1385823/bill-pushes-philippine-farms-tourist-destinations

MANILA, Philippines - Farms will be included in the country's list of feasible tourist spots once the "Farm Tourism Act" becomes a law. AAMBIS-Owa Party-list Rep. Sharon Garin authored House Bill 3745 or "An act providing for the development and promotion of farm tourism in the Philippines and for other purposes" which was approved on first reading by the House of Representatives Committee on Tourism. The proposed measure provides that tourists may enjoy activities such as milking cows, fruitpicking, harvesting vegetables, fishing, horseback riding, watching butterflies, tasting wines or juices and sight-seeing while visiting farms. Albay Rep. Fernando Gonzalez supports the bill, noting that the the tourism and agriculture sector will both benefit from it and would boost the country's economy. The Tourism Committee consulted farm owners, tourism officers, agriculture experts, other stakeholders and government officials in studying the measure. Agri-tourism will encourage farmers will encourage farmers to preserve their lands and ensure food security in the country, University of South Eastern Philippines Professor Fernando Magdato, Jr. said. Under the bill, the Department of Tourism will team up with the Department of Agriculture, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Department of Science and Technology, Department of Agrarian Reform and local government units in identifying which farms are viable tourism sites. Each of the 81 provinces in the country should have at least one tourism farm. Asian countries such as Taiwan, Malaysia, Japan and Indonesia thrives in the farm tourism industry.

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Farm tourism is PH’s sunshine industry Source: https://ph.news.yahoo.com/farm-tourism-ph-sunshine-industry-160839196.html June 9, 2014

The Philippines’ emerging farm tourism sector got a major push as a driver of inclusive economic growth in the Farm Tourism Conference held recently in Daet, Camarines Norte. Organized by the International School of Sustainable Tourism (ISST) and the province of Camarines Norte and supported by the Department of Tourism (DOT), the three-day confab put the spotlight on the unique fusion of agriculture and tourism. Guest speaker Sen. Cynthia Villar says that farm tourism is one of the country’s sunshine industries that can be exploited because of the agricultural nature of the economy. She noted farmers and fisherfolk need to diversify and supplement their agricultural incomes, and farm tourism is one creative strategy to achieve this goal. Villar, who is the chairperson of the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Food, reports that she is working for the passage of vital legislation and amendments on existing laws to complement this growing subsector of the tourism industry. Meanwhile, ISST President and Project Director Dr. Mina Gabor says farm camps focus on lowimpact travel and empowers local communities socially and economically. “Farm tourism attracts visitors and travelers to farm areas, generally for educational and recreational purposes to encourage economic activity to provide farm and community income,” she says. The former Tourism secretary also notes that it involves the community and its benefits should be distributed to stakeholders to ensure sustainable tourism and inclusive development. The gathering also showcased the successful farm camps across the country such as the Sunflower Farms in Ligao City, Albay; Rapha Valley in Don Salvador Benedicto, Negros Occidental; Dragon Fruit Farm in Burgos, Ilocos Norte; Dasoland in Dasol, Pangasinan; and the Disneyworld of Farming Systems of The Mindanao Baptist Rural Life Center Foundation, Inc. in Bansalan, Davao del Sur, among others. Gabor says that the confab also underscores that the integration of tourism and farming allows more efficient resource utilization which can provide jobs, increase income, business opportunities and reduce urban migration. She adds that the ISST will also be holding the Homestays of the World Summit later this year, which is another potential sector in the tourism industry that can benefit people at the community level. The Farm Tourism Conference is in line with the theme of the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) for this year, “Tourism and Community Development,” which emphasizes tourism’s vital role in spreading its economic fruits to the grassroots. The gathering was attended by local government executives, municipal tourism and agricultural officers, barangay officials, entrepreneurs and community stakeholders from various provinces, which have potentials in agriculture- and rural-based tourism. Supporting government agencies were the Municipal Government of Daet, the Department of Interior and Local Government, the Department of Agriculture, the Department of Agrarian Reform, the Department of Trade and Industry, the Department of Science and Technology, and the University of the Philippines-Los Baños. Corporate supporters were East West Seed Company and Planters Products.

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Agri, tourism, exports key to PH sustained growth By Lean Santos, Published 12:20 PM, Jun 08, 2013 | Updated 12:20 PM, Jun 08, 2013 Source: http://www.rappler.com/business/industries/30784-agri-tourism-exports-govt-priority-marketer

MANILA, Philippines - If the Philippines wants to sustain its status as a rising economy, it has to focus more on the basics, particularly agriculture, tourism and high-value exports, a marketing expert said. In a press conference of the Philippine Marketing Association (PMA) on Thursday, June 6, marketing consultancy firm Business Mentors, Inc. president Willy Arcilla said the government needs to push these to further sustain the country's growth momentum. "Imagine what we can do together if we can ask the government to refocus on agriculture... make highly-valuable products that we can export, and push tourism more. There is so much potential," he said. Arcilla cited the delay of the full implementation of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) as one of the reasons why the country's agriculture sector has been such a laggard. CARP was first introduced in 1988 under the administration of former president Corazon Aquino with the aim of distributing farm lands to landless farmers. However, the government, particularly the Department of Agriculture (DAR), failed to fulfill their end of the bargain and was only able to distribute around 111,889 hectares to 63,755 agrarian reform beneficiaries in 2011. The target is to distribute around 220,000 hectares of farm land every year. Arcilla said, instead of relying heavily on the CARP, the government and the farmers can pursue other alternatives including cooperative farming. "Land reform is not a be-all and end-all solution. There are so many alternatives like cooperative farming. But there should be support including the fertilizers, roads and irrigation systems, among others." "All of these has to be addressed by the government," he said. Not just self-sufficiency Arcilla also said the government should not just aim for self-sufficiency in terms of meeting domestic demand. There should also be abundance of supply of high-value products to strengthen the country's export capabilities. "We should not just focus on self-sufficiency but abundance so we can export like our high-grade rice, coconut, mangoes, bananas, pineapples," he said. He stressed the importance of moving up the value chain as part of the industrialization efforts of the country. He cited two examples, particularly semiconductors and coconut water. In the case of semiconductors, which is slowing down despite being the country's foremost export commodity with almost 65% share of the country's exports, he said we should move up the electronics value chain by producing more complete electronics products and not just parts.

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Coconut water, on the other hand, has been gaining ground in the international market and Arcilla said the Philippines should focus more on building a Filipino brand than supplying foreign brands with these valuable commodities. "Coconut water is in big demand now. President Aquino, with all due respect to him, said we are now exporting these to US brands. But I said no. We should come up with a Filipino brand because the value is in the brand, not in the raw material." "We should not be contented by just supplying foreign brands with our raw materials. We should be brave enough (to make our own)," he said. In 2011, coconut water was hailed by Aquino as one of the country's most promising new export opportunities with a growth rate of over 300% to 16.76 million liters from 4.4 million liters the previous year. Local brand Fruits of Life has been profiting from coconut water and is exporting about 240 tons in cans and tetra packs a year directly to supermarket chains in the United States and China. Some of the foreign brands dominating the coconut water market include ZICO, a US coco water brand majority owned by Coca-Cola. Tourism Tourism is also seen by marketers in the country as a potential driver for growth but stressed that the right infrastructures has to be in place if the government wants to attain its 10 million tourists goal in 2016. "Tourism is a sector heavily dependent on marketing. The kind of marketing and promotion and marketing the government put out in the world is crucial in luring tourists to visit the country," PMA president Vicente Reyes said. "In terms of the infrastructure, it's a chicken and egg situation. Infrastructure will be done when more tourists come. But number of tourists will also depend on the kind of infrastructure we have in the country," he added. In 2012, the country hosted around 4.3 million tourists. The government is expecting 5.5 million tourists to flock in the country this year, more than half of the 10 million tourists target in 206. PMA is hosting the National Marketing Conference in Marriott Hotel in Pasay City on June 27 to 28, gathering marketing practitioners, entrepreneurs, business leaders and government officials to talk about marketing as an instrument to sustain economic growth. - Rappler.com Agrotourism and ecotourism are more fun in the Philippines By Moje Ramos-Aquino, Fpm. August 1, 2014 8:54 pm Source: http://www.manilatimes.net/agrotourism-ecotourism-fun-philippines/115699/ I am here in Dipolog City and truly our country is beautiful in its natural state everywhere you go. And every province and city is aspiring to be the preferred tourist destination. According to the Department of Tourism, tourism is our fourth foreign currency-generating industry. It provides an alternative source of income, especially where there are no manufacturing activities or big retail shops in place. Tourism promotes entrepreneurship. Those involved in providing tourist products and services do not need to have a college diploma or big starting funds.

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But first, as promised, let me give some suggestions on how to turn our naturally well-endowed countryside into tourist magnets. Agrotourism and ecotourism are the hottest buzzwords nowadays. In other countries they have become major tourist attractions because they give respite to those who are from big cities and other cement jungles. It is not just about erecting resort hotels, but transforming farms into leisure farm resorts, offering recreational and agricultural activities and showcasing the culture and traditions of the place. Different farms can offer different experiences to their guests with the same Filipino hospitality, good local food, exciting and varied activities and country accommodation. The farmer-owner and his family will personally manage and see to the comfort and satisfaction of their guests. Some suggestions. For roughing it up, provide enough space for a campsite with tents, barbecue grill, and other necessities within arm’s length. Provide workshops on craft-making; for example, basket making and others. Guests can bring home what they make and you charge them the cost of the materials used. Bird-watching is a good companion activity here. “Hilot” [massage] services could be provided. Games like catching the pig and many others could be facilitated with prizes for winners. The veggie patches should not just be for the guests to stare at. Some activities could be developed around the theme. For example, guests could be made to transplant seedlings to beds. They could be asked to prepare the soil, do composting, make organic pesticides and harvest. There could be brief workshops and giveaways of seeds and seedlings for guests to be able to do these back in their own homes. Another one is a pick-and-eat-all-you-can when fruits and berries are in season. If guests pick more than they could eat, they must pay for it and could bring them home. This could be exciting especially for small children and teenagers. Camiguin has its Lansones Festival in October. Farm owners could cultivate a net-covered butterfly or dragonfly garden around flower beds and other insect-attracting plants. They could also open a trail around the farm for early morning hiking and jogging. And one of my favorites is to create a labyrinth where guests can provide guests with spiritual and therapeutic pursuits. For animal farms, guests can be given opportunity to feed the animals, gather eggs from the chicken coop, and others. Then there could be a workshop on red egg-making [itlog na pula or salted egg]. Guests would surely enjoy the little cute farm animals which they do not see in the city. Many kids nowadays think that their chicken and eggs simply come from the supermarket. If there is a lake or stream in the farm, a fishing and shellfish-catching expedition would be fun aside from the usual swimming event. There could be a boat-making workshop and a boat racing contest afterwards. There are many other water activities that could be lined up. It will also profit both tourists and province to organize activities and workshops around the culture, customs and traditions of their indigenous people. This will provide employment for the IPs and a unique learning experience for the tourists. The Ifugaos are good at this. There are limitless possibilities for agrotourism and ecotourism. There are many recreational, educational and spiritual activities around natural ecological resources, local agriculture, orchards and vegetable gardens that tourists could enjoy away from the hustle and bustle of where they live and work to offer a respite from their daily grind. According to the Department of Tourism, the other areas for tourism are diving and marine sports, sun and beach, health, wellness and retirement, education, cruise and nautical tourism, meetings, incentives, conferences, exhibition and events.

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