Palawan province is set to establish farm tourism sites in a bid to invite more tourists and raise farmers' income. (Photo courtesy of Palawan Provincial Information Office)

The Provincial Tourism Promotions and Development Department (PTPDD) said the province is stepping up efforts to identify potential agri-tourism sites in a bid to lure more tourists to Palawan and help improve the income of farmers.

PTPDD tourism officer Maribel Buñi said there are a lot of farms in Palawan that are ideal to become agri-tourism sites and the simple thing that owners must do is to open them to visitors and to encourage them to experience what environment-friendly agriculture is all about.

“Ang [kinakailangan] lang naman dito ay kapag [mayroon kang] farm, then it should be open to welcome tourists. So possible ‘yon,” Buñi said.

Buñi said the topic of promoting agri-tourism was the main focus of the Regional Farm Tourism Strategic Action Planning Workshop of the Department of Tourism (DOT) for MIMAROPA that she attended last week with assistant provincial agriculturist Dr. Romeo Cabungcal in Manila.

She said the objective of the event, which was also attended by representatives from the Department of Agriculture (DA) and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), was to craft an action plan for farm tourism development in MIMAROPA provinces.

“Ang pinaka-objective doon is to craft a strategic action plan for farm tourism development in MIMAROPA. Gumawa tayo ng goals, objectives, and particular programs and projects for farm tourism development in the whole region,” she said.

Buñi said part of the regional farm tourism strategic action plan is to set up accreditation procedures for farm tourism camps, market promotion and development, investment promotion and financing, market research and trends, human resource development and infrastructure.

Promoting farm tourism, said Buñi, is under Republic Act 10816 or the Farm Tourism Development Act of 2016.

The Act seeks “to promote environment-friendly, efficient and sustainable farm practices; provide alternative recreation facilities and farm tourism activities and promote health and wellness with high-quality farm-produced food.”

It also seeks “to maximize the benefits that can be derived from agriculture and tourism combined.”