CHOOSE PHILIPPINES 2016: Cebu bags 3 tourism awards
The province of Cebu bagged the most number of trophies in the first Choose Philippines Award 2016 held at the ABS-CBN Dolphy Theatre on Thursday night, with the Sinulog festival named as Best Festival in the country, Kawasan Falls in Badian as the Best Water Form, and Plantation Bay Resort and Spa awarded for offering the Best Accommodation for solo travelers.
The selection process was initiated by Choose Philippines, a movement and website promoting everything great about the Philippines, “from its amazing people to stunning destinations.”
The website created in 2011 is a digital property of ABS-CBN.
Boboi Costas, Cebu Provincial Tourism Officer, said that while Cebuanos take pride in these achievements, these recognitions should also serve as a reminder that a lot is yet to be done.
“The award speaks of Cebu’s excellence in the tourism industry but I guess the awards also compel us to take stock and examine what needs to be done in terms of the Tourism industry in Cebu,” he said.
“We cannot deny it, Sinulog is still the grandest festival in Cebu, even in the entire county,” he said.
“So if we have to develop festivals in every town in Cebu, I think we have to stick with authenticity. In other words, we have to show the community tradition that is inherent in the community… There’s no need for us to go invent festivals and invent authenticity.” added Costas.
Costas, however, noted that the different local government units in the province still lack necessary infrastructures such as better roads leading to destinations which will entice more tourists to visit.
Costas said the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), the Department of Tourism (DOT) and other national agencies had proposed road improvements, signages, toilets and visitor information centers, to improve the quality of service given to tourists.
“I think this kind of service can only be done if there is a proper capability building especially with our frontliners in the industry.” he said.
In addition, Costas observed that the benefits of local tourism had yet to trickle-down to the local communities./ USJ-R Communications Intern Jheysel Ann Tangaro
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