News and Updates
DOT wins back-to-back Best Videos at World Tourism Organization competition
SAMARKAND, Uzbekistan—Two tourism videos of The Philippines produced by the Department of Tourism (DOT) received special citations at the prestigious United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Video Competition 2023 as part of the activities of the organization’s General Assembly held in Samarkand, Uzbekistan, recently.
Produced by the DOT-Office of Public Affairs and Advocacy, The Philippines secured the winning stories GINTO: Tourism Heroes of Palawan for the category on Decade of Action which looks for notable examples of how UNWTO Member States are linking their promotional videos to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development with references to the 17 Global Goals (SDGs).
Meanwhile, GINTO: Tourism Hero of Zamboanga City garnered acclaim for the Exceptional Stories of Sustainable Tourism category which shows remarkable examples of the human face of tourism and embodying the positive social impact the sector can have through generating opportunities for all.
Directed and edited by Christian Lim, with the assistance of Denison Manuel, and written by Hanah Tabios and Ina Loyola, Tourism Heroes is a feature series covering the facets of the Philippines as a destination while championing, at the same time, its best asset—the Filipino frontline workers and their inspiring stories in the field.
Specially produced for the Department’s 50th anniversary, the stories feature tourism frontline workers who have completed the Department’s Filipino Brand of Service Excellence (FBSE) Training program– a flagship program of the DOT.
“It gives us pride and honor that The Philippines won both awards for two categories of this prestigious gathering of nations from across the globe. While we celebrate this win, we likewise emphasize how important it is to honor and prioritize our tourism frontline workers in all the undertakings of the industry. As our President himself said: The Filipino is our country’s greatest asset,” Tourism Secretary Christina Garcia Frasco said.
GINTO: Tourism Hero of Zamboanga City as the UNWTO 2023 winner for Exceptional Story
The Tourism Hero of Zamboanga City captured the life of DOT-accredited Mindanaoan tour guide Errold Bayona and the paddlers of the Yellow Boat Project at the famed Sta. Cruz Island and how they promoted Mindanao as a safe destination for all amid misconceptions about the island.
The story highlighted both the struggles and triumphs of tourism workers in Mindanao, where Bayona was born and raised. He delved into how misconceptions about the southernmost region of the country make it hard to market the destination despite its beauty and grandeur.
But Bayona, a household name in the tour guiding industry, narrated how by undergoing the Department’s training programs, he improved his capabilities as a tour guide and ended up contributing to the communities dependent on tourism as the main source of livelihood as he continued to bring tourists to the island.
“On the 50th founding anniversary of the Philippine Department of Tourism, we honor and take pride in our inspiring Filipino tourism workers like Errold, and recognize their efforts in promoting tourism that is inclusive and sustainable helping the local communities and everyone dependent on the industry,” cites the presentation produced by the DOT realized with the help of the DOT-Zamboanga City regional office.
According to Secretary Frasco, the story of Bayona reflects the DOT’s push to promote Mindanao to the world.
“Through this video, we share to the rest of the world the readiness of Mindanao for tourism, not only those parts that have already opened up to tourists, but more importantly, those that are yet to be discovered,” Secretary Frasco enthused.
GINTO: Tourism Hero of Palawan as the UNWTO 2023 winner for Decade of Action
The Tourism Heroes of Palawan episode, meanwhile, featured the deaf and mute workers of Ka Inato restaurant in Puerto Princesa City, Palawan, and how its owner, Eric John Yayen, has empowered persons with disabilities (PWD) by giving them training and employment opportunities like other regular workers.
Yayen saw the opportunity to help the deaf and mute community in 2013 when he learned that Palawan has one of the highest numbers of hearing-impaired individuals when they conducted a hearing screening during his term in the Rotary Club of Puerto Princesa.
He then collaborated with the DOT-MIMAROPA regional office to train workers on FBSE for deaf tourism workers in Palawan after employing PWDs as food servers and kitchen staff since the establishment of his restaurant.
“Jhaynee and Alvin are just two of the many persons with disabilities working for the Philippine tourism industry, trained by the Department of Tourism. They are part of the workforce that continues to champion the heart and soul of The Philippines. On the 50th founding anniversary of the Philippine Department of Tourism, we honor and take pride of our outstanding Filipino tourism workers as we aim to reduce societal inequalities, leaving no one behind in this industry,” cites the video presentation produced in partnership with the Department’s MIMAROPA regional office.
The full list of 2023 winners were:
Decade of Action:
• Africa: The Gambia- Welcome to Gambia
• Americas: Panamá – Panamá vive por más
• Asia and the Pacific: Philippines – Tourism Heroes of Palawan
• Europe: Georgia – Stumari
• Middle East: Oman – Experience Oman
• Africa: Kenya – Magical Kenya
• Americas: Panama – Panamá vive por más
• Asia and the Pacific: Philippines – Tourism Hero of Zamboanga City
• Europe: Switzerland – My Swisstainable Journey – Ivano Künzli
• Middle East: Egypt – Visit Esna
Published:October 26, 2023