The Philippines is now among the world's top agri-tourism destinations following the sector's drive for more revenue streams for farmers.
In a statement, the Southeast Asian Regional Center for graduate Study & Research in Agriculture (SEARCA) said that the country is now at par with other agro-tourism sites all over the world including Taiwan, Hawaii, Tuscany, Mallorca, California and Brazil.
During the Global Farm Tourism Summit hosted by SEARCA, Rose H. Libongco of the Hotel Sales and Marketing Association International said that the Philippines is highly sustainable as an agri-tourism destination due to its natural resources and biodiversity, rich farming heritage and the Filipinos' innate hospitality and openness towards foreign tourists.
Organic farms, nature-friendly farms and health and wellness farms are among the top tourism farm destinations in the country.
Libongco cited La Union, Laguna and Davao as among the places with growing farm tourism, where the number of visitors increased by about 157 percent to 18,000 in 2017 from 7,000 in 2016.
Government data showed that South Korea remained the top tourism market of the Philippines followed by China, United States, Japan and Australia.
To market farm tourism sites, Libongco advised farm owners to put up websites through which global tourists look for places to visit.
These sites could also adopt green business practices, offer agriculture training, and overnight accommodation and resort facilities to attract more guests.