Despite the overall slowdown of the sports scenario in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the country offered a toast to the sports tourism sector’s movers and shakers at the recent 4th Philippine Sports Tourism Awards (PSTA) held at the Clark Freeport Zone in Pampanga.
Organized by Selrahco Management and Consultancy Services and supported by Clark Development Corp., the City of Mabalacat, Smart Communications, Universal Robina Corp., Coca-Cola Beverages Philippines Inc., 16 organizations and individuals were awarded for their valuable contribution to the sports tourism sector in 2019.
Leading the awardees were Metro Pacific Investments Corp. chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan and Dumaguete City Mayor Felipe Remollo who were named the year’s top sports tourism personalities in the private and government sectors, respectively.
Other winners were People’s Television Network (news coverage), Philippine Airlines (air carrier), Run With Me X of Resorts World Manila (charity event), Coca-Cola Beverages Philippines (event sponsorship), The Mansion Boutique Hotel and Villas (hotel), Triathlon Association of the Philippines (sports association), Tinman Ilocos Norte (domestic event), Ironman 70.3 (international event), Tour de Cebu (adventure event), and Sunrise Events Inc. (private organizer),
Rounding up the winning circle in the government sector are Dumaguete City (event organizer), Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (destination marketing), Clark Development Corp. (top destination), and New Clark City (sports venue).
According to PSTA chairman and founder Charles Lim, he is confident that the sports tourism sector will bounce back in 2021, despite the challenges along the way.
“This event happening shows we have gone an extra mile to practice safety protocols. PSTA could not just let the year pass without recognizing the efforts of athletes, event organizers, local governments, tourism officials and private individuals who have made 2019 a bumper year for sports and tourism,” he said.
Lim added that it was fitting that the awards be held at the freeport and proposed to initiate bids for global events to be hosted jointly by Clark, Subic Bay, and the New Clark City. He noted that the creation of a sports alliance augurs well to the three destinations with their complementation of world-class facilities, promotions and management.
Bubble sports events were also held in Clark, most notably the Philippines Basketball Association (PBA) season which was held in Angeles City and housed at the freeport.
“These trailblazing initiatives which promote health and safety in an unprecedented time is a good sign to where the sports tourism sector is headed in 2021,” Lim concludes.