Smarter tourism in the new normal
In the Philippines, Culinary Tourism and Farm or Agritourism have been identified by the Department of Tourism (DOT) as two of the niche markets it would like to tap and promote.
It is for this reason that the DOT, Grassroots Travel, and PLDT-Smart recently organized a two-day webinar entitled “Community-based Kulinarya sa Norte” to develop culinary and farm tourism at the municipal level. The webinar also aimed to enhance skills and knowledge of local stakeholders in culinary tourism, and to create economic opportunities for the communities they serve.
The local community associations and the farm tourism site owners from the city of Bogo and the municipalities of Catmon, San Remigio, and Tabogon, Cebu joined the online training.
“This webinar is more than just a training for us, it rekindled our interest to restart and think of more ways to sustain our livelihood in the new normal. The new techniques and the new technologies introduced were very much helpful,” said Catmon Municipal Tourism Officer Vicente Colonia.
The webinar highlighted topics on Food Safety, Hygiene and Sanitation in the New Normal, Sustainable Culinary Tourism, Culinary Product Development.
PayMaya Philippines Inc. also presented cashless payment solutions that the tourism sectors can utilize in the new normal.
“Digital Technology has changed the way we do things. Through webinars like this, local communities are offered great opportunities to acquire and enhance their knowledge and skills to pursue and manage safe and sustainable tourism initiatives in their destinations. My hope for tourism in the new normal is for local communities to benefit from sustainable tourism while future-proofing their destinations from the impact of the pandemic,” said Grassroots Travel Founder Joselito “Boboi” Costas.
Rebuild confidence, excitement
This webinar is also an offshoot of the tourism webinar that Smart initiated with the Department of Tourism last July 16, 2020 titled “#TravelSmart: Safe and Sustainable Tourism in the New Normal.”
“Last month, we worked with the DOT, Grassroots Travel and several other partners to mount a webinar on digital tools that the sector can utilize in this time of #COVID19. All these illustrate that when we pool our expertise and resources together, we can help rebuild the confidence and excitement of Filipinos to travel and rediscover the beauty of the Philippines,” said Atty. Maria Jane Paredes, AVP, Smart Public Affairs VisMin.