PH now one of world’s top agri-tourism destinations
The Philippines is now among the world’s top agri-tourism destinations following the sector’s push for more revenue streams for farmers, according to a research group.
In a statement, the Southeast Asian Regional Center for graduate Study & Research in Agriculture (Searca) said the country was now side by side with other agro-tourism sites all over the world including Taiwan, Hawaii, Tuscany, Mallorca, California and Brazil.
During the Global Farm Tourism Summit hosted by Searca, Rose H. Libongco of the Hotel Sales and Marketing Association International said the Philippines was highly sustainable as an agri-tourism destination due to its natural resources and biodiversity, its rich farming heritage and the Filipinos’ innate hospitality and openness to foreign tourists.
Organic farms, nature-friendly farms and health and wellness farms were among the top tourism farm destinations in the country.
Libongco cited La Union, Laguna and Davao as among the places with growing farm tourism, where the number of visitors swelled by about 157 percent to 18,000 in 2017 from 7,000 in 2016.
Thus, Searca is urging the government to take advantage of the current tourism boom following reports that foreign visitor arrivals in the country in the first five months of the year grew by 10.24 percent from a year ago to 732,506 arrivals.
Government data showed that South Korea remained the country’s top tourism market followed by China, United States, Japan, and Australia.
To market farm tourism sites, Libongco advised farm owners to put up websites through which global tourists look for places to visit.
“Online availability is important in this social media era. People will find you first online. Online websites establish your credibility as a business,” she said.
These sites could also adopt green business practices, offer agriculture training, and overnight accommodation and resort facilities to attract more guests.
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