By Rey Anthony Chiu | 02:40 PM June 19, 2022
The industry respite caused by the cessation of activities during the pandemic may have derailed the tourism momentum, but on one hand, it allowed for more strategizing to diversify what Bohol can offer as the new normal picks up.
In the furlough, the Department of Tourism in Central Visayas, along with tour operators, municipal and provincial tourism offices went back to the drawing boards and ventured into the underutilized sector in tourism and has succeeded in kicking-off FARMS7 and OUTDOOR7, along with DIVE7 as the new fresh from the oven products with accompanying established and validated circuits ready to serve tourists anytime.
During the Validation of new Farm-Fork-Fitness Circuits that pick on the outdoor adventure trails of Bohol, the DOT7 through Chief Tourism Operations Officer Gelena Asis-Dimpas said the region looked at a common activity that has a tourism potential across the region and saw trekking, kayaking and trail biking as a means to develop new circuits.
The validation workshop which happened at South Palms June 15-16, puts on board representatives from the tourism industry: travel sellers, municipal and provincial tourism officers, service operators and outdoor outfitters to check and validate the new tourism products that gyrate on farm tourism experience, trekking and other outdoor activities and trail biking which shows communities, scenic views an splendid trails that an environment tourist would drool at.
A continuing program of the DOT7, FARMS7 and OUTDOOR7 have been attracting visitors spending quality time with their family, relatives or the gang in the countryside and rural areas.
The project which started even before the pandemic, entailed mapping and documentation of potential and existing farm learning areas, wellness and outdoor activities that revolve around the farms and established destinations.
Based on the farm-fork-fitness concept, the identified and newly validated tours in one way or another, contributes to the outdoor adventure tours in Bohol, Dimpas added.
During the validation, the DOT presented the results of the joint product audit and documentation of the DTO-LGU and private operators for the travel sector and participating stakeholders to see and check out for economic viability.
With the development, Bohol Association of Hotels, Resorts and Restaurants chairman Rommel Gonzales of Modala Hotels was excited as this complements the hotel sector, which has seen a rise in occupancy lately.
With the full opening of Bohol to domestic and international tourists, the DOT expects the decongestion of the traditional circuits as the new circuits could be new exciting products.
Provincial Tourism Council chairman Atty. Lucas Nunag of Amarela Resort also said that the new development opens to more investors the possibility of offering homestay programs that are within the new outdoor adventure circuits, creating a more inclusive development in rural areas.
He openly hopes that before this happens, the new investors can be guided by the fact that what we are offering is the authentic Boholano experience that is culturally relevant and that would certainly be a magnet for more tourists looking at this niche service. (rahc/PIA-7/Bohol)