A Capitol official hoped Aloguinsan’s latest recognition would encourage other local governments in Cebu to adopt the town’s approach on managing its tourism destination.
Joselito “Boboi” Costas, Cebu provincial tourism officer, said having Aloguinsan cited by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) was already enough proof that community-based tourism works in Cebu.
“Most of them are still reluctant right now, but I hope this is evidence that community-based tourism for Cebu really works and that all government units will adopt (the practices),” he said in a phone interview on Wednesday.
On Wednesday afternoon, Costas announced through a Facebook post that the Bojo Aloguinsan Ecotourism Association (BAETAS) won the Asean
Tourism Award for best community group.
Costas said he received an e-mail from the Asean informing him of BAETAS’s recognition.
In the Philippines, Costas said only Aloguinsan and Olango Island made it to the final cut with the former winning over the latter in the end. The awarding ceremony will be held on Jan. 20 in Singapore, following the Asean Tourism Forum, said Costas.
The Asean defines community-based tourism as a tourism activity owned, operated and managed or coordinated at the community level which contributes to the well-being of locals by supporting sustainable livelihood and protecting valued socio cultural traditions as well as natural and cultural heritage resources.
Costas said the Asean came up with tourism guidelines to standardize industry practices across the Asean region, in line with the regional integration in 2015.
“The 10 member-countries of the Asean wanted to standardize tourism practices in the region. They wanted to develop the Asean region into one quality destination. In order to achieve this goal, there are requirements for tourism standards including for hotels, homestay, staff, public toilets and community-based tourism, among others,” he explained.
Asean member states are Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.
Costas said BAETAS was accorded the award for satisfying the criteria set by the Asean, including the need to empower communities to manage tourism growth and achieve community aspirations related to well-being.
“It’s a confirmation that Aloguinsan is doing the right thing when it comes to community-based tourism. It also means Aloguinsan is ready for Asean