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DoT Cordillera launches search for best tourism village

DOT Cordillera director Jovita Ganongan, left, explains the criteria of the best tourism village program. Right is Marleen Guerzon of Department of Interior and Local Government – Cordillera. PMLobien

The Department of Tourism – Cordillera launched Saturday the Best Tourism Village competition at the Ion Hotel.

In launching the competition DOT -Cordillera director Jovita Ganongan said they hope for villagers to showcase “their way of life and  develop their village for tourism that will provide the best Cordillera experience .

Ganongan said that providing incentives will motivate them to come out in the open. Lure tourists to come and generate economic activities, create livelihood in their village.”

The search will recognize “the important role of tourism villages towards ushering in a more sustainable, responsible, equitable and participatory rural tourism development,…”

The objectives of the BTV award include to “recognize the important role of tourism villages towards ushering in a more sustainable, equitable and participatory rural tourism development.”

It is also aimed to “provide incentives to tourism villages that are embracing tourism and providing opportunities for sustainable development.”

The program hopes “to promote responsible tourism as a strategy for environmentally sound and community participatory tourism programs, enlisting the participation of local communities, including indigenous peoples.”

Likewise, the program aims to “ maintain international standards of excellence in community-based tourism facilities and services in the Cordilleras, and promote the region as a safe and wholesome tourist destination.”

Ganongan said that they are now going to the rural areas of the six provinces of the region since Baguio is already a known tourist destination.

The BTV award shall run from November 22 to December 23 this year and it is open to barangays or cluster of barangays or even the town, city or the peovince.

The competition has five criteria with each having their respective weight: sustainable management (25 percent), socio-economic sustainability (15 percent, cultural sustainability (25 percent), environmental sustainability (10 percent) and rural economic development (25 percent).

The top winning village gets PhP1 million, the second and third places receive PhP500,000 and PhP200,000, respectively. All will receive trophies and tokens.

Their will be five runners up which will receive PhP100,000 each plus certificates and tokens.

Marleen Guerzon of the Department of Interior and Local Government – Cordillera said the Cordillera localities are ready to join the DoT-Cordillera competition.

Cordillera is the first region to recognize tourism villages, said Marinelle Lee, CEO of Positive Exposure Productions, Inc. which helps run the BTVA. Pigeon Lobien

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