The Department of Tourism (DOT-6) will conduct a forum on Thursday, May 11, to discuss how farmers and fishermen can benefit from the booming tourism industry in Western Visayas.
The agency invited organizations of fishermen and farmers, local planning heads, agriculturists, tourism officers and private stakeholders to The State of Western Visayas Tourism: What’s in It for Farmers and Fisherfolks, which will be held at the Days Hotel in Iloilo City from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.
The forum primarily aims to “raise awareness on the socio-economic benefits brought by tourism industry and open windows of economic growth down to the grassroots level of the community.”
Lawyer Helen J. Catalbas, DOT-6 director, said farmers and fishermen need all the help they can get from the government and the private sector to boost their production.
“They may be willing to venture into technology and other resources to increase their production but they need to have access to the right institutions,” she further said.
Catalbas lamented, “We are promoting and exporting our tourism products, services and destinations to our tourists but we are getting our raw/fresh materials from other regions.”
“With millions of tourists visiting Western Visayas every year, the region has to sustain its supply to address the visitors’ demands. We need to supply food and beverage needs of tourists with what we produce in the region. Grassroots farmers and fishermen should share in the material gains of tourism if we want inclusive growth of the industry,” Catalbas said. IMT