The cities of Sagay and Bago in Negros Occidental have been recognized for their sustainable tourism initiatives during the Green Destinations Story Awards at the Internationale Tourismus-Börse (ITB) in Berlin, Germany Tuesday night.
With its entry “Mangrove Forest Protection through Community-based EcoTourism Project,” Sagay, located in northern Negros, placed second in the Nature and Scenery Category and also received the People’s Choice Award, one of the two special awards in the competition.
From southern Negros, Bago’s “Reviving the Majestic Diversity of Bago Watershed” took the third spot in the Environment and Climate Category.
Both the Tourism Promotions Board and the Department of Tourism lauded the two cities for international recognition, calling their achievements “big wins” for the Philippines and Western Visayas.
In a statement, Bago City Mayor Nicholas Yulo, who received the award together with his wife Jeanne Louise, said it is such an honor for the city and “an affirmation of the strong efforts and collaboration of the local government, its stakeholders and constituents in environmental conservation.”
“This is the sum of all the efforts put in by the men and women of the local government, the trust and support of Bagonhons, and the internal and external environmental and tourism stakeholders,” he added.
For Sagay, the awards were received by Negros Occidental 2nd District Rep. Alfredo Marañon III and Vice Mayor Leo Rafael Cueva.
Last September, the stories of both cities have been included in the Green Destinations Top 100 Stories list and were awarded during the Green Destinations and Future of Tourism Summit held in Athens, Greece.
The Green Destinations Story Awards at ITB Berlin showcase and celebrate the most inspirational initiatives for sustainable tourism development from stories submitted to the yearly Green Destinations Top 100 Stories competition.
ITB is the world’s leading travel trade fair, where leaders and key stakeholders of the global tourism industry gather to conduct business meetings.
Each year, the ITB Berlin annually gathers the participation of over 160,000 visitors, including 113,500 trade visitors and 10,000 exhibitors from over 180 countries. (PNA)