THE Department of Tourism (DOT) will further develop the farm tourism of the country in order to help the countryside and to engage the younger generation into agricultural activities.
DOT assistant secretary Eden David said the current age average of the Filipinos involved in agricultural activities is somewhere between 57 to 59 years old. In order to engage the younger generation, DOT will launch a “sexier version” of farming which is farm tourism.
Now there are already about 34 farm tourism sites all over the country that DOT had accredited and they are still catering and working out the accreditation of more farm tourism sites. Included in the farms they are working out is the Malagos Garden Resort in Baguio District, Davao City as they are going to particularly promote the chocolate tour.
“For a farm to qualify, definitely the basics of tourism should be in place. There should be an activity going on. It’s not just about eating, picking up fruits, or all of these pick-and-pay activities. But there should be other activities that you can engage in like the guests can plant, they can also add milking activities, and even games can be done within the farm. So given activities should be available,” David said.
As the DOT’s concern leans toward the entertainment and promotion side of the farm beyond its production capacities, David also said that a reception area where the staff can orient their guests is also a must. There should also be restaurants where the guests will be served with food that preferably were grown at the farm. There could also be accommodation facilities, although David said this might not be required for all farm tourism facilities.
As there is an existing Farm Tourism Development Board (FTDB) that may overlook and decide whether the farm could qualify as a farm tourism site, David said DOT will be looking into an all-inclusive farm.
Whether or not these are organic farms or urban gardens, as long as they have the necessary requirements fit to qualify as a farm tourism destination, David said they can be accredited by DOT.
“[If] all of the necessary requirements of a farm tourism site are in place such as the reception area, restrooms, and the restaurants, and activities, then of course no problem. If urban gardening can actually be part of the whole activity, we can accredit that given that there are those facilities available,” said David. (JPA)