The Philippines Tourism Promotions Board (TPB), the marketing arm of the Department of Tourism (DOT), launched recently the first Sustainable Community-Based Tourism Recognition (SCBTR) as part of its “Sustainable Tourism” campaign.
In keeping with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations, and the National Tourism Act of 2009, which recognizes sustainable tourism development as key to national socioeconomic development, the SCBTR highlights different forms of tourism such as ecotourism, which focusing on areas that promote environmental conservation and appreciation of nature; culture tourism, which promotes heritage and encourages participation in cultural activities; and adventure tourism, which offers a full adventure travel experience.
TPB will identify the best sustainable tourism destinations of the country with the assistance of DOT Regional Offices and recognize three winners according to a set of criteria that includes community participation, benefit sharing, tourism resources conservation, partnership and support from within and outside the community, local ownership, management and leadership, communication and interaction among stakeholders, quality of life, scale of tourism development and tourist satisfaction.
The recognized sites must also practice sustainability through preservation, conservation and protection of the environment and community; provide a unique local experience; practice ecological balance and sustainable organic farming; promote artisanal products in the community; empower cultural pride; share cultural heritage; offer immersive and experiential activities; and elicit overall interest from visitors.
Winners will receive incentives and grants for the enhancement of sites and tourism products and services; trainings and seminars; and progress monitoring and assistance from TPB to obtain support from organizations such as the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Slow Food International and the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA) for the development of community programs.
The destination will also be promoted digitally, featured in international and domestic travel fairs and shows participated in by DOT / TPB, and endorsed for a possible partnership with the former Secretary of the Philippines’ Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Ms. Gina Lopez.
This first-of-its-kind recognition is initiated by TPB in support of Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat’s overarching direction in striking balance between tourism business and social responsibility.
Aside from acknowledging sustainability efforts and achievements, TPB also hopes to reaffirm the commitment of local government units, non-governmental organizations, and private sectors in the tourism industry in implementing sustainable tourism related-initiatives.
Moreover, TPB hopes to showcase and promote domestically and internationally the countrys unique tourism products, inspire stakeholders to share sustainable practices, and draw potential investors for the enhancement and development of sustainable tourism sites and attractions.