The Department of Tourism (DOT) recently honored the first batch of individuals who have exemplified excellence and dedication in driving the Philippine tourism industry forward, under the Tourism Star Philippines (TSP) program.
TSP is a recognition program developed to celebrate the valuable contribution of Filipinos from the tourism industry, media, and local government units. Through TSP, DOT seeks to underscore the distinct Filipino brand of warm hospitality that marks our culture of tourism.
“TSP is established as a platform for the DOT to hold up people who will serve as powerful inspiration for anyone who wants to do well in the tourism industry,” DOT Secretary Ramon Jimenez, Jr. said. “That we are able to honor our awardees tonight is incidental to the even more important objective of presenting them as an inspiration for many more tourism supporters. This first ever TSP Awards is itself inspired by the overwhelming enthusiasm of the Filipino people for building a more dynamic, more inclusive tourism industry for our country,” he said.
The very first roster of Tourism Stars include Gerry Bie Dalimag and Bobby Adrao for the Individual Category; Drew Arellano of Biyahe ni Drew in GMA-7 and Anton Diaz of Our Awesome Planet for the Media Category; and Governor Joey Salceda of Albay for the Local Chief Executive (LCE) Category.
Anchored on DOT’s It’s more fun in the Philippines campaign, the Tourism Star Philippines also marks a significant milestone for the agency, as it is part of the full implementation of the National Tourism Development Plan (NTDP) which leverages on public-private sector partnerships to improve competitiveness of tourism facilities and services, capacitate local government units, ensure sustainable tourism development and initiate focused marketing and promotions.
Awardees of Tourism Stars Philippines received trophies and medals, as well as gifts from program partners: a pre-loaded More Fun Prepaid card from the Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI), scholarship from the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), phones and tablets from MyPhone, and a kabuhayan package from Duty Free Philippines (DFP).
“The Philippine tourism is undoubtedly the fastest growing industry in the country, taking on a significant role in our economy. We believe that we owe this tremendous growth to our people. Without them, our destinations would only be a mere landscape. It is our people that give these beautiful destinations life and meaning. And the Tourism Star Program honors these individuals who truly make it more fun in the Philippines,” Secretary Jimenez said.