TACLOBAN CITY – The city of Ormoc and Burauen town in Leyte province earned recognitions in the prestigious Association of Tourism Officers of the Philippines (ATOP) Pearl Awards.
The local government units (LGUs) received their awards Thursday night in Boracay Island as part of the 24th national convention of ATOP, the country’s leading professional association for tourism officers.
Ormoc City was the grand winner for best hosting award of a local event category (city level). It was specifically recognized for the exemplary hosting of Adlaw sa Ormoc- Diamond Jubilee Celebration in October last year.
The city was also first runner-up for best hosting of an LGU for international event category, best practices in community-based tourism, best-tourism oriented local government, and best tourism event: religious festival.
Department of Tourism Eastern Visayas regional director Karina Rosa Tiopes congratulated Ormoc Mayor Lucy Torres-Gomez for being one of the tourism champions in the country.
“This just shows that our local government units and local tourism offices are now becoming competitive in terms of performing their mandated tasks. This should inspire other LGUs and give them the confidence to bid for awards,” Tiopes told the Philippine News Agency in a phone interview Friday.
Meanwhile, the brochure for Mahagnao Volcano Natural Park (MVNP) in Burauen, Leyte was the first runner-up among 22 entries nationwide in the ATOP Pearl Awards.
The MVNP "Find your Ex" brochure promotes the destination’s “Excitement, Exhilaration, and Experience.”
Burauen town tourism officer Carmela Corazon Crebillo said it was their first time to vie for the ATOP Pearl Awards since Mayor Juanito Renomeron launched an intensive tourism promotion.
“We are happy to receive this award after four years of intensified promotion of our tourism sites. This award acknowledges the efforts of designers, marketers, and tourism stakeholders in creating informative and engaging brochures that showcase the country’s tourism offerings,” Crebillo said.
Proclaimed as a national park in 1937, MVNP is endowed with different natural attractions -- lake, falls, multi-colored mud, virgin forests, and a lagoon.
Mahagnao, located 860 meters above sea level, is 18 kilometers away from the town center of Burauen. (PNA)