The Provincial Culture, Arts, History and Tourism Office (PCAHTO) of Iloilo is campaigning for more farm resorts and farm stays to get accreditation from the Department of Tourism (DOT).
“We are number one in the entire Western Visayas in terms of the province with the most DOT-accredited farms, but because of the current Movement for a Robust, Progressive and Globally Competitive and Resilient Province of Iloilo (MorProGRess Iloilo) program of the governor, we are still campaigning for more accreditation. But we already have at least 250 registered farms,” said Iloilo provincial tourism officer Gilbert G. Marin in an interview on Monday.
Marin said Governor Arthur Defensor Jr. would like to position the province as a farm destination.
During the recent pandemic and even up to now, farms were given leeway in terms of tourist visits because they were the first tourist attractions that opened, Marin added.
He said lots of idle lands were converted into farms because of their potential.
Recently, he said they have just created the Agri-Tourism Council composed of DOT-accredited farm destinations.
“We want to encourage more membership. Once it is organized we will sit down to create a farm tourism plan for the province so that the full implementation of the farm programs can already take off,” he added.
The creation of the council is already mandated under a provincial ordinance that provides for the development and promotion of farm tourism in the province with funding support authored by Board Member Jason Gonzales.
He added that a lot of farm operators in the province are also looking forward to availing of the fund support that would follow once they already have the tourism plan and guidelines are in place.
Currently, 19 farm destinations in the province are already accredited with the DOT. (PNA)