THE Iloilo Provincial Tourism Office wants agri-tourism in the countryside to be a major attraction for visitors as the province grows its tourism market.
An agricultural-tourism circuit was recently launched and special tour packages for visitors are now being planned, said Provincial Tourism Officer Gilbert G. Marin.
The circuit initially covers eight towns within the 2nd District, including Alimodian, Leganes, Leon, New Lucena, Pavia, San Miguel, Santa Barbara, and Zarraga.
Mr. Marin said similar packages will be developed later for the 3rd and 4th Districts.
“This is a good opportunity for us to be able to help the districts which are into agri-tourism. Many schools in the province are already visiting our organic farms here,” he said.
Destinations for Circuit 1 are Bantayan Hills, Mizpah Garden and Organic Farm in Santa Barbara; Egger Farm and GoDucate in San Miguel; CPU Center for Native Animal Conservation and the Bagsakan/Food Processing Plant in Leon; and Mizpah Garden in Alimodian.
For Circuit 2, identified areas are Rolling Hills Apiary and Dominguez Pantatan in New Lucena; Pinoy Suelo’s Farm in Zarraga; Leganes Eco-Park and Sige-ani Farm in Leganes; and Orchard Valley and Gumana Tropical Garden in Pavia.
“The province is geared towards fisheries and agriculture so we need to support these programs,” Mr. Marin said.
Special focus will also be given to organic farming and the tourism office will be working with local government units to develop potential sites.
Mr. Marin reported that Iloilo had 206,000 visitors last year, surpassing the 200,000 target.
This year’s target is 250,000 and Mr. Marin said the tourism office is confident of reaching that with around 140,000 visitors already recorded as of end-June.
With the weather in the second half of the year characterized by monsoon rains, Mr. Marin said the focus is on promoting the more accessible sites in the province such as old churches and museums.
Article Source: http://www.bworldonline.com/content.php?section=Economy&title=iloilo-to-make-farming-fisheries-major-tourist-attractions&id=130662