ATOP awards best tourism practices in the Philippines

SEVERAL local government units have been recognized for their exceptional practices, projects and innovations in the tourism industry during the 2018 Association of Tourism Officers of the Philippines-Department of Tourism (ATOP-DOT) Pearl Awards last Friday, October 6, in Limketkai Luxe Hotel, Cagayan de Oro City.

During the recently ended convention, Bulacan and Negros Occidental dominated the 19th ATOP-DOT Pearl Awards, bagging the most number of awards in the event.

Bulacan won the second place in the Best Tourism Event (Festival) City category for Malolos City's Fiesta Republica, A Festival of Filipino History; third place in Best Tourism Event (Festival) Municipality category for the Municipality of Pulilan's Kneeling Carabao Festival; first place in the Best Tourism Event (Sports) Province category for its Lakbike Turismo 2017; third place in Best Tourism Event (Sports) Municipality category for Municipality of Pulilan's Pulilan Bike Fest; among others.

On the other hand, Sagay City and Bacolod City of Negros Occidental won first and third places respectively, in Best Tourism Month/Week Celebration City category; second place in Best Practices on Community-Based Responsible Tourism (Community-Based Tourism Campaign or Event/Joint Program or Project) category for Sagay City's The Suyac Island Journey: Coastal Communities Resource Advocacies to Boost Sustainability (CCRABS); first place in Best Tourism Event (Sports) City category for Sipalay City's Tourism Kite Festival; and others.

For Northern Mindanao, only the province of Misamis Occidental has won an award, second place in Best Tourism Event (Festival) Province category for its Pasungko S'g Misamis Occidental.

It was noted during the awarding that Misamis Oriental, despite hosting the national convention, was not nominated in any of the Pearl Awards' categories.

According to Misamis Oriental Governor Yevgeny Emano, this was due to the fact that they did not know about the awards prior to the event.

"Because we are very young. We do not even know that there's Pearl Awards. This is the first time that we were able to host and knew about awarding," Emano said.

"We could have enrolled program from the municipalities, we have programs actually. All the municipalities celebrate fiesta, they have their own festival. Sayang lang," he added.

Emano also said that in the next year's ATOP National Convention, Misamis Oriental will surely join in the Pearl Awards and hopefully will be able to bag an award.

"So next year, I told ATOM (Association of Tourism Officers of Misamis Oriental) already. So choose which category they want to join and hopefully, be able to bag an award for Misamis Oriental. Not to compete with each other in the province, but to compete with the national ATOP awards," Emano said.

The ATOP-DOT Pearl Awards is a competition open to all local government units with major award categories on the best tourism offices/clubs/associations, best practices in community-based responsible tourism, and best tourism events.


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