University of the Philippines Los Baños
Friday, 08 December 2017 16:04

LB Science Community launches ‘science tourism’


A new and evolving brand of tourism – called “science tourism” – is taking shape in Los Baños.

Science tourism aims to promote science and technology (S&T) at a deeper level and as a career path among students, according to Dr. Alexander Madrigal, regional director of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST)-Region IV-A and president of the Los Baños Science Community Foundation, Inc. (LBSCFI).

“There is no body of knowledge yet on this field. We are trying to pioneer this,” said For. Roberto Cereno, chair of the LBSCFI Tourism Committee and director of the UPLB-CFNR Training Center for Tropical Resources and Ecosystems Sustainability.

For. Cereno, who acknowledged that science-oriented travel has long been practiced in Los Baños, said that science tourism has two scopes: “the science in tourism” and “the tourism in science.”

The former seeks to showcase S&T in products, services, and sites; while the latter aims to package and promote S&T ideas, discoveries, and breakthroughs into awe-inspiring and mind-blowing tourist attractions, according to For. Cereno.

Los Baños was declared in 2000 as “The Special Science and Nature City of the Philippines” based on Proclamation No. 349, and is home to some of the well-known S&T institutions in the Philippines and the ASEAN.

Twenty-two Los Baños-based organizations, including UPLB, form the LBSCFI, which launched the new tourism concept on Dec. 6 at the DOST-PCAARRD Innovation and Technology Center. UPLB’s Museum of Natural History and Makiling Botanic Gardens were frequently mentioned as potential science tourism destinations in the town during the event.

Rebecca Labit, regional director of the Department of Tourism (DOT)-Region IV-A, expressed support to science tourism during its launch. “When this was presented to us, I immediately said yes because it is timely, needed, and speaks well of the sustainability for tourism,” she said.

During the event, a Memorandum of Understanding on developing science tourism in Los Baños was signed among LBSCFI, DOT-Region IV-A, and the Department of Education (DepEd)-Region IV-A.

Present during the event were Hon. Cesar Perez, mayor of Los Baños; Prof. Bernon Abellera, principal of Lopez Elementary School, who represented Dr. Allan Hostalero, district supervisor of DepEd-Los Baños; representatives of LBSCFI member-agencies; and members of the national and local press. (Mark Jayson E. Gloria)