This new activity represents a supplementary tourism attraction in various regions of Chiriquí, most recently in La BarquetaBeach, located in the district of Alanje, where MIDA delivered the first certificate in a coastal area, notes Alejandra García, the program director.
García asserts that this initiative provides tourists with access to accommodation and restaurant services, but goes further in allowing them to actively participate in the operation of a farm or ranch. Now they will also be able to include a trip to the beach.
According to recent MIDA figures, 37 farms in Chiriquíhave been certified by this institution since 2007, of which 12 have been endorsed this year, located in the districts of Alanje, Bugaba, Renacimiento, Boquete, and San Félix. In 2012 the ministry reevaluated all the certifications granted up to that year, taking into account the development of infrastructure and services.
Anabela Alma, provincial director of ATP, stressed the institution's important role in this commercial initiative, noting that to date they have already accredited 22 of the 37 agritourism farms operating in Chiriquí.
In just this year the ATP has accredited five farms, located in Boquete, Volcán, and Cerro Punta, which Alma highlighted for their optimal conditions to receive tourists.
These farms are heeding a manual of good practices that the ATP, with the support of the World Tourism Organization, published to give guidelines on farm access, reception area, tours and varied activities, in addition to recommendations for tourists. Furthermore, they offer technical supervision to farmers every other month.