City joins 3rd Farm Tourism Conference PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 11 July 2015 10:55

The city government sent its representation to the 3rd Farm Tourismn Conference held on July 1-3, 2015 at the Batis Aramin Resort & Hotel, Barangay Malupak, Lucban, Quezon Province.

Mayor Beng Climaco sent Ms. Jessica Caroline C. Fabrigas of the City Tourism Office and Mr. Isidro A. Quijano of the Office of the  City Agriculturist to represent  the local government and take part in an important convergence of ideas featuring the most recent breakthrough discovered in the tourism industry– FARM TOURISM.

The three-day conference was attended by some 200 delegates with an enormous participation from various local government units. It gathered some of the most credible authorities in agriculture, farming and tourism, who shared their insights and success stories in their respective fields to include among others, Dr. Mina Gabor, President of the International School of Sustainable Tourism (ISST), and Ms. Josie Costales, Chairman of the Costales Nature Farms, the first Farm Tourism Site to be accredited by the Department of Tourism. Costales Nature Farms is a prime agro-tourism destination that conducts ecological and balanced farming techniques, which aims to promote a sustainable agriculture, healthy lifestyle, and environmental biodiversity through integrated organic farming. The farm was adjudged as the Most Outstanding Organic Farm of the Philippines for the year 2012 recognized by President Benigno Simeon Aquino III.  The event was likewise graced by top local and national officials led by Senator Cynthia Villar and Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala who served as the Guests of Honor during the opening ceremony, as well as Governor David Suarez of Quezon Province and Mayor Celso Olivier Dator of the municipality of Lucban, Quezon Province.

A convergence of both farm and tourism, Farm-Tourism is a tourism concept coined by the former Secretary of the Department of Tourism, the Honorable Mina Gabor in 2013. Farm per se is primarily on food production and tourism conventionally is on culture, history, and sites, with farm-tourism, farm becomes a contributor in tourism through farm activities.

With the continuous evolution of the tourism industry, it now becomes limitless and goes beyond sightseeing to experience which farm can offer an extraordinary experience that is not common in urban areas. The distinct farm experience can be but not limited to Fruit Picking, Crop Harvesting, Pond Fishing, Biking, Camping, Horse Back-riding, and Hanging Bridge crossing.

City Tourism Officer Sarita Sebastian believes that the city’s participation in this new trend in tourism will lead the promotion of farm-tourism in Zamboanga City as a new tourism product as well as reinforce the present administration’s advocacy of a healthy lifestyle. She likewise sees the opportunity of strengthening the linkage between the government and the private sector; encouraging the farmers to maximize the land utilization and be more productive; and educating farmers on organic farming and farm tour guiding.

The 3rd Farm Tourism Conference is an endeavor of the International School of Sustainable Tourism supported by DILG Memorandum Circular No. 2015-50.