BACOLOD CITY — Negros Occidental and Silay City were awarded Best Tourism-Oriented Local Government Units (LGU) in the Provincial and City Category, respectively of the Pearl Awards of the Association of Tourism Officer of the Philippines (ATOP) held at L’ Fisher Hotel here over the weekend.
The awards event capped the three-day national convention of ATOP hosted by Negros Occidental and Department of Tourism Region 6.
Panaad Festival, Negros Occidental’s festival of all festivals, was hailed Best Tourism Event of the Week or Month in the Provincial Category.
Silay City tourism officer Severino “Ver” Pacete placed second as Outstanding Tourism Officer next to Angono, Rizal tourism officer Patnubay Tiamson.
The Sinigayan Festival of Sagay City won the Best Tourism Event of the Week or Month in the City Category while the Anihan Festival of Dueñas, Iloilo took the award in the Municipal Category.
In Sports Adventure Category, Pulupandan, Negros Occidental was included in the best tourism event.
DOT-6 Regional Director Helen Catalbas said this is the first time the ATOP convention had an overwhelming attendance with a registration of 1,400 delegates.
Only 900 initially confirmed their attendance, so they hastily arranged for the accommodation of the more than 400 excess reservation, she said.
Catalbas said “the event was really successful and record-setting in terms of hosting and facilitating the activities.”
Convention chair Cristine Mansinares, tourism officer of Negros Occidental, expressed gratitude to the active participation of tourism officers from different parts of the country.
Alfonsus Tesoro, president of ATOP, said this is also the first time that many local officials attended the convention in support of their association’s tourism advocacy.
There were delegates coming from as far as Cagayan Valley, he said.