As the country's agriculture sector push for more revenue streams for farmers, the Philippines has gained a spot among the world's top agri-tourism destinations, according to the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA).
According to Rose H. Libongco of the Hotel Sales and Marketing Association International, factors such as the country's natural resources and biodiversity, rich farming heritage, Filipinos' innate hospitality and their openness to foreign tourists made the Philippines a highly-sustainable agri-tourism destination.
This makes the Philippines at par with agri-tourism sites such as Taiwan, Hawaii, Tuscany, Mallorca, California, and Brazil.
Furthermore, organic and health and wellness farms are among the top tourism destinations in the country. Libongco also said that La Union, Laguna, and Davao are among the places in the country which has growing farm tourism. From 18,000 in 2017, the number of visitors in these areas increased to 7,000 in 2016, posting a 157 percent growth.
SEARCA urges the government to take advantage of the tourism boom in the country for the first five months of the year when 732,506 tourists came to the country. This figure posted a 10.24 percent growth, as compared to last year's visitor arrivals.
Majority of these tourists are from South Korea, China, United States, Japan, and Australia.
On the other hand, Libongco also advised owners to adopt green business practices, offer agriculture training, overnight accommodation, and resort facilities to attract more guests.
Room for improvement
She also suggested putting up websites for their farms so that interested visitors will be able to learn more about the establishments and to further encourage them to come to the Philippines.
She added that online availability is important in this time of the social media, as people will be able to find them first online.
Furthermore, she emphasised that online websites establish the credibility of a business.