Samarkand, Uzbekistan — In a significant win for the Philippines, the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) has recognized two of the country’s tourism videos at its prestigious Video Competition 2023. The honors were presented during the UNWTO’s General Assembly in Samarkand, Uzbekistan.
The Winning Entries
The Department of Tourism (DOT) clinched the award for ‘Decade of Action’ with its entry titled “GINTO: Tourism Heroes of Palawan,” which focuses on the role of tourism in achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The video highlights the impact of tourism in Palawan, aligning it with the United Nation’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Another notable video, “GINTO: Tourism Hero of Zamboanga City,” received acclaim in the ‘Exceptional Stories of Sustainable Tourism’ category. The video features the inspiring stories of tourism workers in Zamboanga City, showcasing the social impact and opportunities the sector creates.
Behind the Production
The videos were produced by the DOT’s Office of Public Affairs and Advocacy and were specially made to commemorate the Department’s 50th anniversary. Directed and edited by Christian Lim and written by Hanah Tabios and Ina Loyola, the videos capture the essence of Philippine tourism, celebrating its frontline workers.
The series spotlights those who have completed the DOT’s Filipino Brand of Service Excellence (FBSE) Training program, a flagship initiative aimed at uplifting the service standards within the country’s tourism industry.
Voices Behind the Victory
Tourism Secretary Christina Garcia Frasco commented on the win, stating, “It gives us immense pride that the Philippines secured both awards in two different categories. This international recognition is not just a win for us but a tribute to our hardworking frontline workers in the tourism sector.”
Highlighting Regional Stories
The “Tourism Hero of Zamboanga City” video details the life of DOT-accredited tour guide Errold Bayona and challenges the misconceptions about Mindanao, painting it as a safe and beautiful destination. Similarly, the “Tourism Heroes of Palawan” entry emphasizes the empowerment of deaf and mute workers in the tourism sector, challenging societal inequalities.
The Philippines stood tall among other winners from around the globe. In the ‘Decade of Action’ category, the country was recognized alongside The Gambia, Panamá, Georgia, and Oman. In the ‘Exceptional Stories’ category, the Philippines shared the spotlight with Kenya, Panamá, Switzerland, and Egypt.
The recognition from the UNWTO serves as a testament to the Department of Tourism’s successful efforts in showcasing the country’s diverse tourism potentials while highlighting its commitment to social responsibility and sustainable development.