Thursday, October 7, 2010

TOURISM AWARD FOR GASAN

The Municipality of Gasan was awarded 1st runner-up for best tourism practices (municipal category) in the recently held national convention of Association of Tourism Officers of the Philippines (ATOP). The event was held from October 3-6 at the Subic Bay Convention Center at the Subic Bay Freeport Zone.

The convention that enjoyed the full support of Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) and Olongapo City discussed pressing issues on the country’s tourism industry and the role of LGUs, the local tourism officers and stakeholders in the promotion of domestic tourism. This year’s event also recognized best tourism practices and presented awards to remarkable tourism innovations and activities.

(An entry to Kalesayahan Festival of calesas).

Gasan, priding itself as Marinduque’s cultural nerve-center, was cited for activities related to the 400th founding anniversary celebration of the municipality which saw a highly successful weeklong celebration with various activities like traditional games and sports, walkathon for senior citizens, marathon, Mr. and Mrs. Senior Citizen, cultural night, Harana night, DLC competition, G-Dance mania, Kalesayahan, and Awards Night that saw foreign tourists, balikbayans and guests trouping to Gasan to watch the events. The activities were spearheaded by Mayor Victoria A. Lao-Lim and Vice-Mayor Bel Balitaan with the full support of the local barangays.

Department of Tourism Secretary Alberto A. Lim, who was keynote convention speaker, expressed his unwavering support to the initiatives of the association of tourism officers, who are at the forefront in promoting the different Philippine tourism destinations.

(Billboard announcing the "Araw ng Gasan" week-long activities)

"I commend your association for this year's theme, "ATOP-Strengthening Domestic Tourism," as it affirms your commitment to chart the new paths of involvement to promote travel and tourism as an engine for socio-economic growth and sustainable development," Lim said.

Other speakers included Olongapo City Mayor James Gordon Jr., DOT Tourism Services and Regional Offices Undersecretary Simeon Marfori II, Philippine Biodiversity Conservation Foundation, Regional Director Lisa Paguntalan and Camarines Sur Governor Luis Ray Villafuerte.

Marfori discussed issues on the impact of domestic tourism on the LGUs while Paguntulan on Philippine biodiversity and eco-tourism to various investments and tourism-related institutions. Villafuerte shared "The Camarines Sur Experience."
The four-day event was highlighted by biodiversity tours in Subic's famous eco-tourism destinations such as the Zoobic Safari, Ocean Adventure and Treetop Adventure.

Delegates from Marinduque included Gerry Jamilla, of the provincial tourism office and Roselo Salvacion, designated tourism officer of Gasan who prepared Gasan’s entry with public information officer, Dahlia Iturralde.

The convention was attended by about one thousand delegates from all over the country. ATOP was organized in 2000 to promote sustainable community tourism programs in partnership with local chief executives who advocate tourism development in their respective LGUs.

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