Despite the inactive sports scenario in the first half of 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, moves are underway to revive the sector with the opening of the nominations for the 4th Philippine Sports Tourism Awards (PSTA) to be held later this year.
The only one of its kind in the country, PSTA seeks to elevate professionalism in the planning and management of sporting events to help promote tourism. Organized by Cebu-based Selrahco Management and Consultancy Services, the Awards honors groups, private entities and government agencies based on events organized or hosted in 2019.
According to PSTA founder and president Charles Lim, the sports community is pushing the Subic Bay Freeport Zone and the Clark Special Economic Zone to jump-start the sector’s recovery, being among the areas with very low COVID-19 cases due to strict health protocols.
He said that the awards event will help the two business enclaves reclaim their standings as premier sports tourism hubs in the region, having hosted the 30th Southeast Asian Games last year.
According to the authorities of Subic and Clark, they are taking guidance from the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) and the Department of Tourism (DOT) in ensuring the health and safety of athletes, organizers, and stakeholders, should sporting events resume.
“The Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority believes that as resilient as the Filipinos are, tourism will spring back to the heights it has reached before as one of the country’s most popular destinations,” says SBMA Chair Atty. Wilma Eisma, who expressed optimism in resuming several events when it embarks on the “new normal” setup.
The Freeport was named “Destination of the Year” in the first and second editions of the PSTA.
Categories for nominations in the PSTA include Sports Tourism Destination of the Year, Sports Tourism Organizer (private and government), Sports Tourism Event (domestic and international), Sports Tourism Sport Association, Sports Tourism Destination Marketing, Sports Tourism Hotel, Sports Tourism Event Sponsorship, Sports Tourism Charity Event, Sports Tourism Airline, Sports Tour Operator, Adventure Event, Sports Venue, Sports MICE Event, and Sports Media Coverage.
Two special awards will also be given to prominent sports personalities from the private and government sector.
Previous PSTA awardee events and organizers include Ironman 70.3, Sunrise Events, Philippine Football Association, SunPiology, Ceres Football Club, Fat Boys 10s Rugby, and the Philippine Inter-Island Sailing Federation.
Government awardees are Clark Development Corp., Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority, Province of Cebu, City of Davao, City of Dumaguete, the Municipality of Tabuelan (Cebu), and the Municipality of Lubao (Pampanga).
Institutional recipients are Philippine Airlines, Cebu Pacific, Resorts World Manila, Shangri-La’s Mactan Resort and Spa, and the Automobile Association Philippines (AAP).
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