The Department of Tourism (DOT) was recognized by the prestigious Japan Tourism Awards (JTA) for its role in the temporary closure of the world-famous Boracay island to rehabilitate it from overtourism.
Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo Puyat personally received the Excellent Partner Award from the JTA during the opening ceremonies of the Japan Tourism Expo (JTE) held at the Hyat Regency Hotel in Osaka, Japan.
The award-giving body cited the socially advanced initiatives of the DOT by taking a high risk of closing and pursuing a cohesive effort to implement the physical, social, environmental and social recovery of the world-renowned resort island.
Puyat said she is “elated” with the recognition that came on the heels of the World Travel Awards’ hailing of the DOT as Asia’s Leading Tourism Board.
“We share this award with the DENR [Department of Environment and Natural Resources] and DILG [Department of the Interior and Local Government]. Our combined efforts in the rehabilitation of Boracay is still a work in progress, but already we are seeing the rewards. Recently, Boracay was recognized as Asia’s Top Reader’s Choice Award by Conde Nast Traveler,” said Puyat.
Boracay Island, dubbed by many international travel publications as “one of the best beaches in the world”, was closed for six months last year, to rehabilitate the island.
These rehabilitation plans included the cleaning of Bulabog Beach, which was contaminated by high levels of fecal coliform bacteria; clearing of the easement zone along the main white beach; widening of the main road and construction of a circumferential road; and reclaiming of the island’s wetlands,
The preeminent award-giving body recognizes the efforts of tourism organizations around the globe that contribute to the development and expansion of the industry also honoring exceptional efforts of groups towards sustainable tourism development.
The awarding took place on the sidelines of the Third Tourism Expo Japan Ministerial Round Table in collaboration with the United Nations World Tourism Organization where the tourism chief was invited to be one of the panelists.
The expo was attended by ministers of Tourism from all over the world, executives from international tourism organizations and governors of prefectures of Japan.