PH universities, colleges should be harnessed for local tourist promotion --- CHED

CHED delegates during a CLSU campus tour (Photo from CLSU Facebook Page)

Philippine Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) should be harnessed for the promotion of local tourism in their respective areas, the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) said.

“HEIs have teaching, research, and extension expertise that can be harnessed for local tourist promotion. HEIs must also realize they are tourist destinations,” said CHED Chairman Popoy de Vera during the launching ceremony of the eFARM (Engaging Food and Agriculture Resources Management) Academy Program developed by the Central Luzon State University (CLSU) in Nueva Ecija.

“When we go abroad, universities are must-see tourist spots that we include in our itinerary,” De Vera said.

“Many Philippine HEIs played crucial roles in our history, or have technologies and products that would interest tourists, but we don't see them as must-see destinations,” he added.

De Vera said that the eFarm Academy is part of the Education Tourism (EduTourism) initiative of CHED that brings together HEIs, local government units (LGUs), and local communities to develop knowledge products, technologies, and activities to make local areas tourist destinations.

“This is where CLSU and the eFARM Academy come in,” De Vera said. “We want CLSU to attract international students, and local and international tourists to come to the CLSU campus, see its technologies and products, and even study here,” he added.

CHED Chairman Popoy De Vera (Photo from CLSU Facebook Page)

CLSU, De Vera stressed, has vast experience and advanced technologies in the field of agriculture. “So that’s what you have to capitalize on – when promoting your university to international students, you show them how they can enjoy their stay while studying here,” he added.

During the launching, three exhibits were put up to highlight the major components of the project which include eFARM GROW, eFARM KITCHEN, and eFARM ACADEMY.

“This is the essence of farm tourism or agritourism – promoting agriculture through educational activities for both students and tourists,” De Vera said.

“Aside from just transferring knowledge and technologies to your partner institutions and your community, you also ensure that these facilities become tourist destinations as well,” he added.

Funded by CHED, the P15.4-million project aims to provide online courses and other learning materials that support the promotion of agripreneurship through its Learning Management System wherein local and international students can enroll for free during the first year of its implementation.