Relaxation and Wellness
Why Farm Tourism is the Next Big Thing in the Philippines
Bernard Supetran | Jun 09, 2016
Aside from beaches, mountains and bodies of water, farm lands are among the archipelago's most prominent natural features. Enterprising farmers look forward to a rustic and relaxing weekend getaway for a back-to-basics escape.
Nowadays, farms have metamorphosed from being simple plantations to unique travel destinations showcasing the country's fertile soil where everything can grow.
This emerging farm tourism sector takes center stage more get in the 4th Farm Tourism Conference set at the Summit Ridge Hotel in Tagaytay City, July 14-16.
Organized by the International School of Sustainable Tourism (ISST) and supported by the Department of Tourism (DOT) and the Tourism Promotions Board (TPB), the Department of Agriculture (DA), the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), the Provincial Government of Cavite, the Municipal Government of Tagaytay, and the private sector, the three-day confab will put the spotlight on the unique fusion of farming and tourism.
ISST President Dr. Mina Gabor said that the Conference will focus on low-impact travel that will help empower communities socially and economically, for an inclusive economic growth.
The confab will be an ideal opportunity to learn and share best practices on farm tourism from the international and local experts in the field.
Speakers include Cathy Turvill of Nurture Wellness Village and Robert Yupangco of the Zoomanity Group, two entrepreneurs who blazed the trail and helped mainstream farm tourism in the country.
There will be sessions with a panel of experts on honeybee propagation, success stories, marketing and promotions, basic layout of farm tourism destinations, and creating tour packages.
There will also be in-depth discussion on the newly-signed Republic Act 10816, known as the Farm Tourism Development Act of 2016.
Gabor noted that this year’s conference is special because it coincides with the celebration of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) International Year of Pulses that would help heighten public awareness of the nutritional benefits of pulses as part of sustainable food production aimed towards food security and nutrition.
“Farm Tourism attracts visitors and travelers to farm areas, generally for educational and recreational purposes that encourage economic activity to provide farm and community income. It is one of the country’s sunshine industries which can be developed because of the agricultural nature of the economy,” she noted.
The confab includes visits to successful farms in Cavite namely Nurture Wellness Village, The Flower Farm, Paradizoo Residence Inn, and Gourmet Farms, to offer participants a first-hand experience on innovative activities and products they offer.
There will also be a Farm Tourism Exhibit showcasing destinations tour packages, and Farmers’ Market where fresh and locally-grown agricultural produce will be on sale. The gathering will be attended by farmers, local government executives, municipal tourism and agricultural officers, barangay officials, entrepreneurs, and community stakeholders.
The former Tourism Secretary will underscore the integration of tourism and farming that allows more efficient resource utilization which can provide jobs, increase income, business opportunities and reduce urban migration.
Read Related Stories: