DOT reiterates push for natured-based tourism
Ehda M. Dagooc (The Freeman) - September 17, 2020 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines —  The Department of Tourism (DOT) is urging Cebu tourism stakeholders once again to push for farm and nature-based tourism.

According to Rowena Montecillo, DOT director for office of Industry Manpower Development, the agency is now pushing for the promotion of more farms and nature-based destinations in the country. Cebu should also take advantage of this.

Montecillo, who is also the former DOT-7 regional director, said that those that are already on the attraction maps should also enhance their offerings and packages in order to lure people to visit.

Local government units (LGUs) have critical roles in encouraging farms and nature-based attractions in their respective towns and municipalities.

Today, more people are spending money to go on road trips, and getting away either to beach destinations or the mountains.

According to Philippine Farm Tourism Development Association (PFTDA) president Josie Costales, more local tourists are expected to embrace farm destinations as their choice of interest post-pandemic times.

Costales expressed high confidence that among other destinations that are expected to recover faster, are the farming attractions.

He said as people are becoming more conscious about their health and wellness going forward after the pandemic, more tourists, especially locals will embrace farm tourism as they seek immunity-boosting escapes.

The municipality of Asturias in Cebu province recently announced its move to embark on an intensified program to make tourism as one of its economic drivers under the new normal environment, taking advantage of the town’s wealth in farms and nature-based destinations.

Aside from showcasing its rich marine resources for tourists to experience, town Mayor Antonio Pintor vowed to develop more eco-tourism destinations within the municipality.

“We have the biggest lake in Cebu that transcends two barangays called Buswang Lake in Barangay Bago and Sta. Rita.”

At present, the local government has installed boardwalks in the area with plans to setup ziplines and other outdoor activities in the area to attract the adventurous tourists.

Meanwhile, Cebu Alliance of Tour Operators (Catos) president Alice Queblatin, travel operators are now crafting packages to bring events like the small MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibition) events outdoors, like the farms or open coastal sites.

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