THE Queen City of the South takes center stage once more as the country’s leading farm tourism practitioners and stakeholders gather for the 6th Farm Tourism Conference at the Marco Polo Plaza Hotel, Cebu City, from November 6 to 8.
Community Relationship for Sustainable Development of Farm Tourism,” the event
is hosted by the City Government of Cebu, and is co-organized by the
International School of Sustainable Tourism (ISST) and the Cebu Alliance of
Tour Operations Specialists Inc. (Catos), with the support of the Department of
Tourism (DOT), the Department of Agriculture (DA) and the Department of Trade
and Industry (DTI).
According to ISST president and event director Mina Gabor, the
conference will focus on the unique fusion of farming and tourism that helps
empower local communities, provides diversified income for farmers, and
encourages sustainable practices for food security.
“Farm tourism attracts
visitors and travelers to farm areas, generally for educational and
recreational purposes that encourage economic activity to provide farm and
community income. It is one of the country’s sunshine industries which can be
developed because of the agricultural nature of the economy,” she said.
Resource persons include Asean Center for Biodiversity executive
director Theresa Mundita Lim, Board of Landscape Architecture chairman Paolo
Alcazaren, Arslan SRS Philippines chief executive officer Augustus Caesar
Esmeralda, Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in
Agriculture director Gil Saguiguit Jr., Parañaque City Mayor Edwin Olivarez,
DownToEarth Farm Shop and Café president Nicolo Aberasturi, and Bureau of
Fisheries and Aquatic Resources director Eduardo Gongona.
Meanwhile, Bolo Aloguinsan Ecotourism Association vice president Jomelyn delos Reyes and Cebu Pacific director for corporate communications Charo Lagamon will talk on the importance of public-private partnership.
Gabor said the event will
accord the Lakbay Bukid Award or Farm Tourism Award to the country’s foremost
farm tourism pioneers, practitioners, institutions and groups who have
contributed significantly to the development of the industry. Now on its third
year, the award has been opened to Asian farm tourism establishments, the first
of its kind in the continent.
Groups, individuals and
diplomatic missions may submit their nominations until October 18.
The three-day event will also have an exhibition area for fresh and locally grown agricultural produce, and a site visit on the leading farm tourism spots, namely, Sirao Flower Farm, Jaime Chua’s Orchid Farm and Adlawon Vacation Farm.