By: Bernard Supetran
With the Covid-19 pandemic notwithstanding, the Department of Tourism-Mimaropa honored the region’s movers and shakers which played key roles in the tourism industry’s reboot and transition to the new normal.
The citations, the second since 2020, were given at the recent virtual Mimaropa Tourism Appreciation and Recognition Day themed “Fame: Soar High and Radiate Amid A Pandemic”.
“This annual event recognizes the public and private stakeholders for their continued support and assistance to the success of the DOT’s programs. Likewise, this forms part of the incentives and benefits of this Regional Office to the accredited tourism enterprises which have maintained the quality standards in the Mimaropa Region,” says tourism secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat in her welcome remarks.
Topping the honorees were 22 establishments which were accorded the Safe Travels Stamp Certificate by the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) for their compliance to global health and safety protocols.
These were Sunlight Ecotourism Island Resort in Culion; Club Paradise, Tag Resort, The Funny Lion, Two Seasons Island Resort and Spa, and Coron Hilltop Resort in Coron.
Awardees in El Nido were Pangulasian Island Resort, Lagen Island Resort, Miniloc Island Resort, Huni Lio, Casa Kalaw, Balai Adlao, Hotel Covo, Seda Lio and Charlie’s El Nido. Moreover, awardees in Puerto Princesa City include Daluyon Beach and Mountain Resort, Puerto Pension, White Breeze Palawan Boutique, Astoria Palawan, Hue Hotels and Resorts.
Other WTTC Safe Travels Stamp recipients were Apulit Island Resort in Taytay, Palawan and Friday’s Resort in Puerto Galera.
Individual awardees include Finesse Residencia proprietor Jereline Calderon of Puerto Galera, and Puerto Princesa City tour guide Jeffanny Alvarez for success stories of stakeholders who survived and thrived due to their attendance of DOT’s high-impact webinars.
Other award recipients were Hotel Centro operations manager Arthur Cayanan (Filipino Brand of Service Master Trainer) and San Jose municipal tourism officer Ann Roxanne De Vera (MakaNayon Cultural Formation Course and Cultural Leadership Institute Intensive Courses on Heritage Interpretation Course).
Completing the roster of personal honorees were Benjamin Poliquit of Julian Tourist Inn, Gloria Basconcillo of White Beach Resort Bar and Restaurant, and Mylene Grace Quilit of Sikatuna Town Hotel who had the most number of DOT webinars attended.
Citations also went to Banwa Private Island which was named Private Island of the Year and Destination Deluxe Awardee for 2020, and Astoria Palawan which earned the Asean Tourism Standards Awards for 2022.
Puerto Princesa City, the municipalities of El Nido, Coron, and Puerto Galera, and Calapan City were also recognized for being the top five local governments with the most number of DOT-accredited enterprises.
“Just like our destinations in the region, everything is beautiful and we just have to nurture them as we soar high and radiate once more amid a pandemic,” says Tourism assistant secretary and former Mimaropa regional director Christopher Morales
Known for its lush terrestrial and marine biodiversity, and natural wonders, Mimaropa is comprised of the island provinces of Mindoro Occidental and Oriental, Marinduque, Romblon, and Palawan.
He noted that under his watch in 2021, the Department conducted 45 trainings for stakeholders and tourism officers, and accredited 703 enterprises, for a running total of 785 accreditations.
Also known as Region IV-B, it is home to 2 Unesco World Heritage Sites—the Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park and the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park, both in Palawan, and Puerto Galera, a Unesco Man and the Biosphere Site and one of the Most Beautiful Bays in the World.