July 16, 2024

Communities that opened their areas to tourists, but are working hard to ensure the preservation of their environment and culture are being called to showcase their initiatives through the search for the Best Tourism Village.

The Department of Tourism-Cordillera is calling tourism villages in the region to join the search that recognizes the role of villages in ushering in a more sustainable, responsible, equitable, and participatory rural tourism development.

The DOT-Cordillera announced in its social media post communities that want to join the Search for the Best Tourism Village have until Sep. 6 to submit their intention.

The agency is encouraging existing and emerging community-led tourism villages in Abra, Apayao, Benguet, Ifugao, Kalinga, and Mountain Province to apply.

Interested applicants can secure application forms from the provincial and municipal tourism offices or download the forms at https://bit.ly/3XnRM96 where they are asked to detail their strategies for sustainable management practices, how they sustain socio-economic and rural development, and how they ensure cultural and environmental sustainability.

After the screening, the villages that qualify will be visited by a team of evaluators that will validate the data provided in the application.

Application forms can be sent to [email protected] or [email protected].

The DOT-Cordillera said those who joined the competition in 2022 and 2023 and have not fully completed their projects and liquidated their prizes are disqualified from joining or applying for the 2024 search.

The United Nations World Tourism Organization defines tourism villages as rural tourist destinations with recognized cultural and natural assets that preserve and promote community-based values, products, and lifestyle and have a clear commitment to innovation and sustainability in economic, social, and environmental aspects.

In the 2023 Search for Best Cordillera Tourism Village, Barangay Bagumbayan Coffee Village in Tabuk City, Kalinga was declared the winner, taking home P1 million as tourism development grant.

The other winners cited last year are the Bila Tourism Village of Bauko in Mountain Province that received P500,000 and Balbalasang Eco-Village of Balbalan, Kalinga that was given P200,000 grant.

Also given 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. – Jane B. Cadalig