The United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) named a community in Cebu, home to the well-known Bojo River, to be the world’s “Best Tourism Villages.”
Last December 2, tourism officer-in-charge Undersecretary Verna Buensuceso and Philippine Ambassador to Spain Philippe Jones Lhuiller received the award in Madrid.
Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat laud the recognition received by the Barangay Bojo in Aloguinsan town from UNWTO.
The Department of Tourism (DOT) said the award “recognizes the remarkable work of the local community in Bojo, through the Bojo Aloguinsan Ecotourism Association.”
In the town of Aloguinsan lies the world-renowned Bojo River, the town’s crown jewel. Back in 2016, on World Tourism Day, Bojo River was one of the Top 100 Sustainable Destinations in the world, and it also received the Best Community-based Tourism at the ASEAN Tourism Awards 2017.
“A local destination being inducted into the UNWTO Best Tourism Villages Program in its pilot year is a testament to the Philippines’ commitment to sustainable tourism development from the national level down to the grassroots,” Puyat said in a report by PhilStar.
Barangay Bojo now joins 44 communities in 32 countries recognized by the UNWTO for the award.
The UNWTO based the Best Tourism Village on the village’s natural and cultural resources and its innovative and transformative actions, as well as the commitment to tourism development in line with the sustainable development goals.
“The wealth of our natural resources and unmatched hospitality remains our key strength as we strive for the reopening of the industry to international travelers anchored on the principle of safe and sustainable tourism,” Puyat said.
One of the reasons why the UNWTO was launched was to advance the role of tourism as a tool for rural development.