According to the United Nations World Tourism Organization, tourism and sports are two social phenomena in the 21st century that mobilize millions of people all the world, representing the most powerful economic driving force of society today.
This is the reason why, in 2004, the Sports Tourism Forum, founded by my visionary friend Charles Lim, gathered together a group of tourism, sports events management, destination, and sports marketing experts, including corporate sponsors and sports media, to go around the country and encourage cities and venues to organize sports events.
The first forum was held that year in Cebu, after which it was brought to Subic, Laoag, Davao, Bacolod, Clark, Manila, Cagayan de Oro, and Puerto Princesa. Thanks to this initiative, the number of destinations that have established themselves as top-notch hosts for sports events here in the country has significantly increased.
Enter the Philippine Sports Tourism Awards, the country’s first-ever award-giving body that recognizes stakeholders who have made outstanding contributions to our country’s sports tourism industry. The awards are meant to highlight the significant economic benefits of sports tourism to our country’s coffers.
Aside from its economic gains, the awards also banner the inspiring synergy between our athletes, local government units and private organizations that champion different sports programs.
Made possible by Selrahco Management, which is the same group behind Sports Tourism Forum, this annual event is supported by PAGCOR, Philippine Sports Commission and the Department of Tourism. It is aimed at encouraging more participation in the Industry, towards further developing its potential as a contributing force to national development.
This year’s glittering 2nd Sports Tourism Awards took place at the new Savoy Hotel in Newport City, and the evening program was hosted by Migs Bustos of ABS-CBN S+A, with musical entertainment provided by Acapellago.
The awards given out were: Event Sponsor of the Year which went to Century Tuna. The Hotel of the Year trophy was given to Shangri-La Mactan Resort and Spa, while the Charity Event of the Year award was bestowed on Fundlife International.
The Philippine Football Federation was proclaimed the National Sports Association of the Year, while the trophy for the Destination Marketing of the Year went to Cebu Pacific-Siargao.
The award for Domestic Event of the Year went to the Visit Davao Summer Festival, while the International Event of the Year was Ironman 70.3 Asia Pacific Championship. As expected, Airline of the Year is Philippine Airlines, and Private Organizer of the Year is Sunrise Events, Inc.
Hailed as Local Government Unit Organizer of the Year is Dumaguete City, and the award was claimed by a large group of government officials led by Mayor Felipe Remollo. But the trophy for Destination of the Year went to Subic Bay Freeport.
With such a stellar list of winners, the awards-giving body promises an even bigger event next year, which will include more categories, to honor those who have unselfishly devoted time and effort to stage sports events that will help boost tourism throughout the country.
As early as now, the Sports Tourism Forum has already issued its call for nominations of deserving sports personalities and organizations for next year’s awards. These suggested names may be sent to [email protected] More details on the Philippine Sports Tourism Awards may be obtained from (032) 415-5951.
With sports’ steadily becoming a major preoccupation for our countrymen, it should be easy to suggest names of stakeholders that have helped make sports tourism a major contributor to our country’s finances. Send in your nominations now and help boost sports tourism in our country.
For feedback, I’m at [email protected]YOUR weekend CHUCKLE
Q: What do you call a child who doesn’t believe in Santa?
A: A Rebel Without A Claus
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