DOT promotes community-based tourism with Best Tourism Village

BAGUIO CITY (PIA) — The Department of Tourism-Cordillera (DOT-CAR) continues to promote sustainable community-based tourism in the region with the Search for Best Cordillera Tourism Village 2023.

“This initiative echoes the government’s commitment to responsible tourism, emphasizing community participation in conserving biodiversity and culture. This is a testament to our dedication to environmentally sound tourism programs that benefit local communities, especially the indigenous people,” DOT Assistant Secretary Christopher Morales said  during the awarding ceremony of the Search for Best Cordillera Tourism Village 2023 at the CAP Convention Center in Camp John Hay, Baguio City on November 27.

“The core essence of this search evolves around communities’ tourism. Empowering villages to manage tourism growth while fulfilling their aspirations for their well-being and it is a journey towards comprehensive, equitable inclusive and sustainable communities throughout the Cordilleras,” added Morales, who was the event’s  guest of honor and speaker.

Barangay Bagumbayan Coffee Village in Tabuk City in Kalinga clinched the top spot of the Search for Best Cordillera Tourism Village 2023, which was participated by 20 tourism villages across the region.

As the top winner, Barangay Bagumbayan Coffee Village received a plaque of recognition and a P1 million tourism development grant.

Bila Tourism Village of Bauko in Mountain Province placed second with a cash grant of P500,000.00. In third place is the Balbalasang Eco-Village of Balbalan, Kalinga with a P200,000.00 cash grant.

Bagging runner-up honors and a P100,000 grant each are the Nagacadan Open Air Museum in Kiangan, Ifugao; Chaya Heritage Village in Mayoyao, Ifugao; and Tawang Tourism Village in Balbalan, Kalinga.

Aside from the cash grants, each of the winners received a trophy and a certificate of recognition.

The 14 other entries, namely: Barangay Losad of Sabangan, Mountain Province; Guinzadan Tripartite Tourism Village of Bauko, Mountain Province; Batad Rice Terraces Tourism Village of Banaue, Ifugao; Chaya Tourism Village of Mayoyao, Ifugao; Buscalan Tattoo Village of Tinglayan, Kalinga; Cluster TaBoPaRi Village of Calanasan, Apayao; and STOBOSA Hillside Homes Artwork in La Trinidad, Benguet, also received certificates of recognition.

The winners were chosen based on the following criteria: Sustainable Management (25 percent); Socio-economic and Rural Development Sustainability (25%); Cultural Sensitivity (25%); Environmental Sustainability (25%).

DOT-CAR Director Jovita Ganongan shared that the search for the best tourism village was conceived and introduced in 2022 primarily to foster the development of tourist destinations in the Cordilleras by empowering local communities and encouraging active community engagement in tourism programs.

“The onset of the Search for Best Cordillera Tourism Village was rooted in community-based tourism, a sustainable alternative emphasizing the pivotal role of local communities as catalyst for change. This approach places particular emphasis on the contribution of tourism villages or communities that welcome visitors, offering massive experiences,” Gonongan said.

She thanked all the tourism villages that supported the search, which is now in its second year.

“Your warm reception to this initiative by the DOT-CAR is the bedrock of tourism development in the Cordillera Region, and for that we are forever grateful,” Ganongan said. (CCD/PIA CAR)

Officials and representatives of Bila Tourism Village and LGU Bauko, Mountain Province receive the award as second placer in the Search for Best Cordillera Tourism Village 2023. The award includes cash incentive of P500,000 for tourism development projects. (CCD/PIA CAR)

Officials and representative of Balbalasang Eco – Village of Balbalan, Kalinga receive their third place honor in the Search for Best Cordillera Tourism Village 2023 and a tourism development grant of P200,000. (CCD/PIA CAR)

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