Benguet pushes tourism plans, agri-tours

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Monday, May 5, 2014

LA TRINIDAD, Benguet -- Governor Nestor Fongwan is pushing for more destinations in the province.

Fongwan said newly accredited and approved tourism spots have been promoted to keep steady the increase in arrivals the province is experiencing.

In Kabayan town, the recently concluded trek to Mt. Al-al raked in climbers as well as guests for the 1st Bajog festival.


Mt. Al-al provides and alternative trek aside from the more famous Mt. Pulag while the Bajog festival unique to barangay Gusaran, which has been forgotten.

The ritual was performed during the olden times back when there were no medical doctors to diagnose the sick. The ritual is believed to heal those who have ailments.

Fongwan said sisterhood ties have also been made with nearby provinces like Banaue in Ifugao as well as Sagada in the Mountain Province.

"This is to formulate tour packages for the areas and to strengthen ties with them," the governor said.

Fongwan said he is encouraging all municipalities to discover new sites for promotion.

Provincial Tourism Officer Clarita Prudencio said accreditation of new sites for the province goes through deliberation with the consideration of environment and culture.

“Most of our sites are nature and culture based, so we have to be very careful in choosing the sites, we have to take these into consideration always,” she said.

Prudencio said the province now has a lot of Lakbay Aral tours for agri-tourism.

Agri–tourism highlights the province’s organic farming features as well as the good practices of highland farmers.

Prudencio said there are numerous farms in the province offering tour packages for visitors.

This kind of promotion is to educate as well as entertain visitors of how actual vegetables reach the dinner tables, showing how vegetables are planted, taken care of, harvested and then brought to the trading post to be sold.

For 2013 Prudencio said the province had day visitors pegged at 138,300, Campers at 5,727, and visitors who availed of accommodations in the province at 30,797.

Foreign visitors were pegged at 12,023 while domestic arrivals were noted to reach 126,277.

Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on May 06, 2014.

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