Two Negros LGUs bag awards in ITB Berlin 2023

By Glazyl Y. Masculino

BACOLOD City – The Philippines was recognized in Internationale Tourismus Börse (ITB) Berlin 2023 after two local government units (LGUs) in Negros Occidental received awards for their inspirational initiatives for sustainable tourism development in rites held in Berlin, Germany on Tuesday, March 7.

The cities of Bago and Sagay were the only two localities in the country that were included in this year’s Green Destinations Top 100 Stories competition held in Berlin.

Bago City officials led by Mayor Nicholas Yulo, who was also joined by his wife Jeanne Louise ‘Jarie’ Yulo, received the award after its entry “Reviving the Majestic Diversity of Bago Watershed” placed third among the finalists in Green Destinations Story Awards under the Environment and Climate Category.

The category covers good practice stories that tackle climate crisis (adaptation and mitigation measures), reduction of single-use plastic and waste pollution.

“It is an honor for the city to receive such an award,” the mayor said, adding that this sustainable leap is an affirmation of the strong efforts and collaboration of the local government of Bago, its stakeholders and constituents in environmental conservation as well as achievement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and responsible destination management and climate action.

“This distinction is the sum of all the efforts put in by the men and women of the local government, the trust and support of Bagonhons, and the internal and external environmental and tourism stakeholders,” he said.

Meanwhile, Sagay City‘s entry “Mangrove Forest Protection through Community-based EcoTourism Project,” placed second in the said competition under the Nature and Scenery Category.

Negros Occidental second district representative Thirdy Marañon, and Vice Mayor Leo Rafael Cueva, received the award, along with City Tourism Officer Helen Cutillar, on behalf of Mayor Narciso Javelosa, Jr.

Sagay City also bagged the People’s Choice Award, for garnering the most votes for a destination.

The beauty of the destination further got displayed in an international movie being filmed there and the accomplishments of the good practice were acknowledged through several recognitions, according to Green Destinations.

Last year, the two localities were also included in the Green Destinations Top 100 Stories list in Greece, under different categories.

In a Facebook post, the Tourism Promotions Board of the Philippines lauded the two LGUs for bringing honor to the country. “Big wins for the Philippines,” they said.

Green Destinations is a global non-profit organization created in the Netherlands to support sustainable destinations, their businesses, and their communities.


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