I like it when local government units seek to gain control over their local tourism industry. That is how our communities can directly benefit from tourism. I like it too when officials look at tourism beyond organizing that street dancing thing that Panagbenga has become. Good move Ifugao.
From Sunstar Baguio:
In line with the continuing promotion of the rice terraces as an eco-cultural destination, the Ifugao Provincial Government is sponsoring a package tour, which would show the series of cycles involved in the planting of rice in the hand-carved rice terraces.
The tour, which is scheduled on February 9 and 10 (two days, one night) and February 8 to 10 (three days and two nights) is part of the series of rice terraces cycle tours, which the Save the Ifugao rice terraces movement offers — from land preparation (lodah/mamanong), to harvesting (botok, pfoto) and the thanksgiving or bakle.
For a minimal fee of P2,800 per person for the February 9 tour and P3,600 per person for the February 8 tour, participants can expect meals on the day of arrival to lunch on day of departure, lodging transportation, guide, entrance and environmental fees will be provided to visitors.
The tour will be at the Hungduan rice terraces. For those who wish to avail of the three-day tour, the package will include a visit to the Banaue rice terraces and other sites in Kiangan town.
“Please support this tour and other Ifugao eco-cultural tours, as it helps the Ifugao rice terraces by bringing tourists to share the tourism income with the community. Part of the proceeds of the tour goes directly to the community to help the people promote their indigenous culture and preserve the rice terraces,” said Governor Teddy Baguilat Jr.
Last December, the Provincial Government hosted an international symposium on the preservation of the rice terraces. Heritage conservation experts, urban planners, members of the media and professionals were participants to the symposium.
Admitting the international community has pressured the Provincial Government over preservation efforts of the rice terraces, Baguilat said they want concrete action from international civic organizations to help improve and succeed on its preservation efforts.
Baguilat also said while they are aware of the possibility the rice terraces might be delisted from the list of heritage sites, locals could only do so much.
He said there has to be concrete action on how to safeguard the rice terraces.
The Ifugao rice terraces have been inscribed in the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization’s (Unesco) world heritage sites in 1995 but was declared as one of the endangered world heritages in 2001 due to its deteriorating state.