The Philippines has all it takes to be the leading country as far as farm tourism is concerned, former Department of Tourism (DOT) Secretary and International School of Sustainable Tourism (ISST) Chairman Dr. Mina T. Gabor said.
The former State Secretary for Tourism, Mina T. Gabor expressed her vision over farm tourism in the Philippines as the archipelago is set to welcome local and international delegates to ISST’s sixth Philippine Farm Tourism Conference 2019 from November 6 to 8 in Cebu.
ISST looks into welcoming over a thousand delegates in the conference. Participants are mostly farmers and cooperatives as well as tourism companies owners or farm tourism operators as well as government officers from various departments.
According to local newspapers, Mina Gabor wants to secure the role of farm tourism in the Philippines and nurture the trend. The former State Secretary believes that farm tourism is globally competitive. Topics at the conference will look at issues such as climate change, aquaculture and urban farming. With the theme “Building Community Relationship for Sustainable Development through Farm Tourism,” the conference wants to share the best practices done by experts in farm tourism industry,
They are more and more farm tourism sites across the country, Mrs. Gabor explained. “It is really the craze,” Gabor said, saying it is a symbol of a brighter farming in the Philippines. “Since we operated in 2012, from that time on up to now, it’s a quantum leap.”
She added that the future of farming is bright with their creativity and new ideas that are disrupting current trends.
One of the current trends is the development of urban farming in partnership with various local government agencies in Metro Manila. urban farming paves the way for people to make use of vacant lots as small farms.
While DOT focuses on farm tourism, Gabor acknowledges the challenges that come with it, most especially climate change. “When there is climate change, the first that will be affected will be the farm,” she said. “But it is also the farm which can mitigate it.” Water shortage and polluted soils in urban centres are two strong brakes to a more rapid development of urban farms.
Last, Gabor sees that infrastructure should be considered to boost farm tourism in the country. She hopes that with the support of the government, roads leading to farms even in remote areas can be accessed easily, bringing in more potentials tourists for the area.