MANILA, Philippines – An area in Cebu has been recognized as one of the world’s “Best Tourism Villages” this year by the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), the Department of Tourism (DOT) Central Visayas office said.
The DOT said the Bojo village in Aloguinsan, Cebu was among this year’s 44 communities in 32 countries that made it to the UNWTO list.
Bojo was the lone winner from the Philippines.
“Congratulations to Bojo, Aloguinsan, Cebu for being chosen as one of the World’s Best Tourism Villages for 2021 by the UNWTO. From more than 170 nominations submitted by 75 countries, Bojo, Aloguinsan shined bright as the lone winner from the Philippines,” the agency said in its social media account.
In its website, the UNWTO said the initiative was launched “to advance the role of tourism in safeguarding rural villages, along with their landscapes, natural and cultural diversity, and their local values and activities, including local gastronomy.”
It said the villages chosen this year “stand out for their natural and cultural resources as well as for their innovative and transformative actions and commitment to the development of tourism in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).”
The UNWTO said the villages were evaluated by an independent advisory board based on a set of criteria, including cultural and natural resources; promotion and conservation of cultural resources; economic, social, and environmental sustainability; tourism potential and development and value chain integration; governance and prioritization of tourism; infrastructure and connectivity; and health, safety and security.
“Tourism can be a driver of social cohesion and inclusion by promoting a fairer distribution of benefits throughout the territory and empowering local communities,” UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili was quoted as saying in its website.
“This initiative recognizes those villages committed to making tourism a strong driver of their development and wellbeing,” he added.
The awarding ceremony held in Madrid, Spain last December 2 was attended and represented by the Spain Ambassador to the Philippines, Mr. Philippe Jones Lhuillier and Asec. Verna Esmeralda C. Buensuceso.
The complete list can be viewed here.
The UNWTO said the next edition will open in February 2022.