big lagoon of el nido

Tourism is definitely back on track as the Department of Tourism (DOT)-Mimaropa recently honored the region’s industry stakeholders at its annual Appreciation and Recognition Day.

The event, with the theme “The Winner Takes It All,” is the first full physical awarding in the past three years. It celebrated the resiliency of tourism players and their quest for excellence even during the COVID-19 pandemic. It also recognized the public and private stakeholders for their support to the DOT’s programs, and formed part of the incentives to accredited enterprises which have maintained the tourism quality standards. 

Mimaropa Region is composed of the island provinces of Mindoro Occidental and Oriental, Marinduque, Romblon, and Palawan, which are known for lush terrestrial and marine biodiversity, and a host of natural wonders.

puerto princesa underground river

Topping the roster of awardees were Banwa Private Island and Amanpulo, which won the second and third-runners up in the Private Island of the Year of The Destination Deluxe Awards 2021. This year, Banwa bagged the top spot in the same award, while Amanpulo clinched the Asia’s Leading Private Island Resort of the World Travel Awards.

Palawan added another feather in its cap with its new “Most Desirable Island” award from the United Kingdom-based Wanderlust Travel Magazine.

The DOT also recognized the local government units with the most number of accredited enterprises, topped by El Nido, Puerto Princesa City, Coron, Puerto Galera, and Calapan City, which ranked first to fifth, respectively.

kayangan lake in coron, palawan

In the international scene, Apo Reef Natural Park in Sablayan, Occidental Mindoro was the Platinum-Level Blue Park Awardee by the Marine Conservation International at the 2022 United Nations Ocean Conference in Lisbon, Portugal.

A leading dive site and the country’s biggest contiguous coral reef, Apo Reef bagged the prestigious accolade with the support of the provincial government headed by Occidental Mindoro Governor Eduardo Gadiano.

Other global honorees were Agritektura Enterprises in Roxas, Oriental Mindoro, the first Filipino awardee of the Top 10 Under 40 Hatchery Experts of the Canada-based Hatchery International, and Coron Natural Farms as Q Asia Magazine’s Best Integrated Organic Agricultural Farming Destination.

Moreover, Club Paradise in Coron placed second in the 2022 Green Destination Story Awards, which is recognized at the prestigious ITB Berlin.

puerto galera

Meanwhile, the Municipality of San Jose, Occidental Mindoro racked top honors from the Association of Tourism Officers of the Philippines (ATOP), which include Grand Winner for Best Program on Culture and the Arts and 2nd Placer for Best Tourism-Oriented LGU. Ann Roxanne De Vera was named as the group’s Most Outstanding Tourism Officer.

Sunset Beach Resort in San Vicente, Palawan and Utopia Resort and Spa in Puerto Galera, were recognized for their person with disability-friendly facilities which supports the DOT’s Barrier-Free Tourism advocacy.

Last but not least, also cited were the Department of Health (DOH) and the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) for support to DOT’s programs, and the Municipal Government of San Vicente for significantly increasing the number of its accredited establishments in the past two years.

calapan city hall