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Government promotes agritourism

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine farm tourism sector needs to further expand the market reach of its products to be able to benefit local farmers, an official of the Department of Tourism(DOT) said.

During the opening ceremony of the Region XI Davao Expanded Tourism Showcase at the DOT Makati, Tourism Undersecretary Alma Rita Jimenez said the creation of farm destinations alone would not allow the farm tourism sector to flourish since most tourists would only visit these areas once just for the experience.

She added there is also a need for product tourism.

Jimenez cited the coffee tourism industry as an example wherein coffee is not only sold in the coffee farm but in other outlet stores as well.

Last month, the DOT announced the creation of a National Farm Tourism Strategic Action Plan in line with plans to  turn the agriculture sector into a new tourism product.

An interim Farm Tourism Development Board composed of representatives from the DOT, Department of Agriculture and  Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the private sector will craft the said action plan.

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A technical working group composed of representatives from the Agricultural Training Institute (ATI), Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), Department of Science and Technology and financial institutions like Land Bank of the Philippines and Development Bank of the Philippines will also be created in line with assisting the board in formulating the National Farm Tourism Strategic Action Plan.

“It’s about time that we take steps to put farm tourism at center-stage, as the country teems with rich agricultural destinations as nurtured by our hard-working farmers, who we now recognize as major stakeholders in an inclusive and sustainable tourism industry,” said Tourism chief Wanda Corazon Tulfo-Teo.

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