MANILA — The search for the frontliners, managers, individuals and local chief executives who have made a huge impact to the tourism industry over the past three years has come to an end.
According to the Department of Tourism (DOT), the winners in the first-ever Tourism Star Philippines Awards, a competition that celebrates the excellence in driving tourism forward, will be announced on Dec. 18.
Tourism Undersecretary Maria Jasmin said in a previous interview that the search encourages everyone — whether foreign or local tourists — to share positive stories “about how our tourism frontliners made their stay in the Philippines memorable.”
Jasmin, meanwhile, urged owners and managers of the industry to continue with human resource development programs and to look at training their employees “as an investment rather than an expense.”
Tourism Star has two categories: tourism frontliners and individuals who embody the true Filipino brand of warm hospitality, of going the extra mile in the service of tourists; and local chief executives (LCE), a mayor or a governor, whose projects contribute positively to the tourism industry.
The individuals’ category is open to all Filipinos who have direct or indirect contact with tourists and who may belong to travel agencies and tour operators; tour guides; tourist transport; accommodation establishments; and individual service providers that may include entrepreneurs, government employees, policemen and others who do not fall under any of the mentioned sectors.
A potential Tourism Star from the local chief executive (LCE/mayors or governors) category, on the other hand, must have “led”, “headed”, “contributed”, or “facilitated” tourism movement in their community, tourism income, and jobs creation.
Nominees must not only be backed up by a list of tourism-related accomplishments, but also a proof of support to DOT regulatory and development functions such as preparation of local tourism office budget and work plan, enactment of local ordinances on mandatory accreditation and collection of tourism statistics, among others.
The LCE Star nominees were judged according to institutional, promotions, planning and product development, regulatory, investments, centerpiece projects, support to DOT advocacies and best practices in tourism.
Deadline for submission of nominations is on May 31 of every year.
DOT Secretary Ramon Jimenez Jr., in an earlier statement, said that the awards program helped strengthen the agency’s tourism campaign.
“Hopefully, the DOT’s Tourism Star Philippines would not only engage more individuals and local chief executives alike to take more proactive roles in our efforts of raising competitiveness in tourism, but also in instilling in every Filipino the culture of tourism,” Jimenez said.
“The success or failure of tourism largely depends on how people will respond to the call of nation-building. And that power is in the peoples’ hand,” he added.