Two organizations from the region were honored at the ASEAN Tourism awards in Singapore last January 20, 2017. The award honors outstanding tourism communities that embody inclusive and ethical presentation of a community’s social, historical and natural assets and their compliance on practical issues such as accommodation, safety and hygiene. Also in the same event, the private sectors will be given distinction in the homestay sector.

The Palaui Environmental Protectors Association (PEPA) in Sta.Ana, Cagayan and the Batanes Homestay Association (BAHOMAS) in Basco, Batanes were successfully conferred as the winners for the ASEAN Tourism Awards for Community-Based Tourism and Homestay respectively together with the other winners from the 10 ASEAN countries. The Philippines had a total of four organizations honored at the event.

It is noteworthy to mention that this is the second year that the region produced winners from different categories. Last year, the Fundacion Pacita in Basco, Batanes won the ASEAN Tourism Awards for Green Hotels.

The Department of Tourism’s Cagayan Valley Regional Director, Virgilio M. Maguigad and Ms. Grace Ruiz, community development specialists from the Cagayan Economic Zone Authority

(CEZA) attended on behalf of BAHOMAS and PEPA. Also present in the occasion were the Secretary of the Department of Tourism, Wanda Corazon Tulfo-Teo, the Undersecretary for Tourism Regulations, Coordination and Resource Generation (TRCRG) Alma Rita R. Jimenez, the Undersecretary for Administration and Special Concerns Rolando Canizal, and Mr. Gabriel Lingan, business development chief/tourism supervising officer of CEZA.