SEARCA, ISST to host 2 intl farm tourism meets

  • 20 April 2018

Source: The Manila Times
20 Apr 2018

The Philippine-hosted Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA) is formalizing ties with the International School of Sustainable Tourism (ISST) to jointly organize for this year two international conferences on farm tourism.

Headed by former tourism secretary Mina Gabor, the non-profit ISST provides education and technical training to develop, promote, and viably operate sustainable tourism in the Philippines and other Southeast Asian countries.

Asserting that farm or agri-tourism is an "innovative pathway to ISARD [inclusive and sustainable agricultural and rural development]," SEARCA Director Gil Saguiguit Jr. said the center and ISST will attempt to jointly shine a spotlight on farm tourism through a Global Farm Tourism Summit in July 2018 and an Asia Women Leaders Meet in December 2018.

A treaty organization founded in 1966, the Los Baños, Laguna-based SEARCA is mandated to promote ISARD in Southeast Asia and Timor-Leste through its core programs on graduate education and institutional development, research and development, and knowledge management.

Saguiguit said the Global Farm Tourism Summit will be anchored on a theme "Managing Climate Risks via Sustainable Farm Tourism" that will be attended and participated in by experts, practitioners, and stakeholders in the industry worldwide.

He said the summit aims to gather 500 participants to share vast experiences, practices, insights, technologies, and products from around the world, and intends to open channels and networks from one country to another for farm tourism development.

"Farm tourism or agri-tourism can diversify farmers' sources of income and livelihood, and it is a way to promote sustainable agriculture with community involvement and participation," Saguiguit said.

He also explained that agri-tourism is the business of attracting visitors and travelers to farm areas for recreational or educational purposes that encourages economic activity and can provide both farm and community income.

On the other hand, the Asia Women Leaders Meet is an annual having a different theme each year. The first of the series will be held on December 4-6, 2018 with the theme "The Role of Women in Community-based Tourism."
SEARCA and ISST welcome the support of other international development organizations, government agencies, and private entities for the two conferences, Saguiguit added.