36 groups get ASEAN tourism award

By Joyce Ann L. Rocamora

March 22, 2019, 2:58 pm

MANILA – A total of 36 tourism enterprises in the Philippines were recognized for meeting minimum requirements set by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Tourism Standards in the Philippines.

Rebecca Villanueva-Labit, director of the Department of Tourism (DOT)-Office of Tourism Standards and Regulation, said the DOT-organized award manifests the agency's commitment to sustainable tourism.

"It also proves the capacity of our private and public partners to best itself and be consistent with the development of sustainable tourism activities, destinations, and practices," she said in a speech during the awarding in Manila on Friday.

ASEAN member-states have initiated the standardization of tourism services to market the bloc as a "Quality Single Destination," eventually creating the ASEAN Tourism Standards Award.

Tourism enterprises are recognized yearly under seven pilot areas of standardization -- the Green Hotel, Community-based tourism, Homestay, Clean Tourist City, Spa Services, MICE Venue and Public Toilet.

In the Philippines, dozens of groups from the private sector and local government units in the National Capital Region, Cordillera Administrative Region, Cagayan Valley, Calabarzon, Mimaropa, Central Visayas, and Davao region received the 2019 award.

For the ASEAN Homestay Award, the recipients were Kiangan Homestay Association, the Siquijor Isla Mystica Homestay Association, the Batanes Homestay Association, and the Cabarroguis Homestay Association.

Meanwhile, the Palaui Environmental Protectors Association from Cagayan Valley, the Tour Guide and Recreation Association, Inc. from Rizal, and the Sabang Mangrove Paddle Boat Tour Guide Association from Puerto Princesa were recognized as ASEAN Community-based Tourism Standard Awardees.

For the ASEAN Public Toilet Standards, four were given awards. These were G&B Restaurant, Nueva Vizcaya; Cordillera Convention Hall, Baguio City; Maramag Commercial Center B-LGU Maramag, Bukidnon; The SM Store CDO Downtown Premier, CDO.

Five others were recognized in the ASEAN Spa Service Tourism Standard Award. These were Inbalance Spa, QC; Quan Spa at Marriott Hotel Manila, Pasay City, Healing Sanctuary Spa at The Farm at San Benito; Chi, The Spa at Shangri-La, Cebu City; Lazuli Spa, Davao City. (PNA)