EL NIDO, Palawan – As part of the town’s Comprehensive Development Plan (CDP), the Municipal Tourism Office (MTO)’s post-quarantine recovery plan includes promoting farming and agriculture as tourist attractions.
Tourism Operations Officer II Arvin Acosta said a recovery plan is currently being crafted by the MTO and the local government unit (LGU) of this town. While still in its early stages of development, the main idea is to rebrand El Nido as an agritourism destination. The recovery plan will also double as a food security measure to encourage El Nido residents to grow their own food.
“Itong rebranding ay parte ng CDP para unti-unting hindi na maging 100% reliant sa turismo ang El Nido. Isa rin itong paraan para ma-address ang issue ng food security, dahil and El Nido ay masyadong dependent sa ibang municipality para sa mga food products,” said Acosta.
The town’s economy has been at a standstill since the start of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) with zero tourist arrivals. While other industries such as fisheries and farming are still operative, majority of El Nido’s residents rely heavily on tourism for income.
“Masasabi ko, nasa 90% ng mga negosyo rito ay tourism-related. Hindi na kasi nakikita ng iba na mayroong potential ang mga ibang industriya katulad ng farming o fishing. Madalas, umaalis pa ang iba sa bukid para maging tour guide,” said Acosta.
To remedy this, part of the recovery plan includes possible incentives to farming communities to encourage more and more residents to turn to farming. Business owners and tourism workers will be encouraged to develop their respective properties into farming and gardening spaces. Boat owners will be encouraged to return to fishing. Introducing new farming technology and other similar needs have also been eyed as key strategies to assist local farmers.
“Malaki talaga ang potential para sa agritourism. Tinitingnan din namin kung paano naming ito ima-market sa domestic travelers, dahil sila ang mga magiging turista rito kapag wala nang quarantine,” said Acosta.