DEPARTMENT OF TOURISM (DoT) Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat cited farm tourism as a “catalyst” for sustainable tourism and inclusive development, not that the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of Republic Act 10816, titled “Farm Tourism Development Act of 2016,” have been released.

Speaking at the Farm Tourism Summit this week, the tourism chief stressed the role of Farm tourism, one of her priority programs.

“We at the DoT are looking forward for Farm Tourism to serve as a catalyst for greater sustainability; we know that we can now pursue it properly, guided by the IRR. Farm Tourism holds the promise of food sufficiency and additional income for our tourism stakeholders, including farmers, farm workers and fisherfolk. After all, gainful employment, enhanced productivity and sustainable livelihoods are what tourism is really all about,” said Ms.Puyat.

The DoT has accredited 174 Farm Tourism sites across the country, 31 of which are in Calabarzon (Region IV-A). Ms. Puyat expects the numbers will continue to rise as the demand for “low-impact tourism” increases with the completion of the Farm Tourism Strategic Action Plan (FTSAP) this year.

Meanwhile, the City of Parañaque recently held an Urban Farm Tourism Workshop with the International School of Sustainable Tourism in Silang, Cavite, a three-day course based on the Farm Tourism Development Act of 2016.