ATI, DOT Work Hand-in-hand in Promoting Farm Tourism

Key officials from the Department of Tourism, Department of Agriculture officially open the 5-day exhibit. (c):Clemente Gabion

Aside from boosting the influx of tourists to local farms, “Farm Tourism” likewise advocates knowledge on agricultural practices in the country that will encourage more active involvement in the agriculture and fisheries sector. Moreover, it opens up opportunities for farmer-producers to market their products by connecting them directly to potential niche markets.

As so, this week marks the official launch of Farm Tourism in SOCCSKSARGEN through a campaign by the Department of Tourism (DOT) called “SOX is Next!” This promotes several farms in the region to both local and international levels.

To materialize this campaign, the DOT is holding the second run of its “Treasures of SOX” exhibit, where various products and cultural presentations from different parts and groups in the region are featured. The display, which started last year, has notably helped increase tourism activities in the region in leaps.

“Last year, our tourist arrival increased by 19% from 2015 to 2016. Our flights have also increased, and more and more LGUs already considered tourism as an important driver (in the Philippine economy),” said DOT Region XII Regional Director, Nelly Nita N. Dillera, CESO III, during the event’s opening last April 3, 2017.

Following the success of last year’s exhibit, this year’s “Treasures of SOX” is highlighted by the launching of the Farm Tourism for Region XII. This undertaking is through the cooperation between ATI-RTC XII and the DOT Region XII. A milestone for the agricultural sector in the region, this move is the first time that farm tourism has been launched in Region 12.

“It’s not just about the tourist arrivals from abroad that we’re targeting. Farm tourism is a wonderful opportunity for us to boost what the region can do because when people come in and out, they see more than the resorts—it’s not just the leisure,” emphasized Assistant Secretary for Tourism Regulation, Coordination & Resource Generation for Luzon and Visayas Daniel Angelo E. Mercado.

The 5-day event that started on April 3 will commence on April 7. Situated at the Glorietta 3 Activity Center are booths that feature at least 31 trade and tourism exhibitors. Aside from their products, the exhibit will hold business matching, cultural presentations, and fashion shows that display the region’s products.