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DOT bags back-to-back wins at GovMedia Conference & Awards

SINGAPORE: The Department of Tourism (DOT) received two awards at the GovMedia Conference and Awards 2024 for its flagship programs – the Tourist Rest Area (TRA) that provides convenience and comfort to tourists, as well as its Filipino Brand of Service Excellence (FBSE) training program that highlights the country’s commitment to elevating the standards of hospitality and service across the tourism and service industries.

Tourism Secretary Christina Garcia Frasco, who accepted the awards in a ceremony held at the Marina Bay Sands Expo and Convention Center here Thursday, conveyed her gratitude for the recognition.

‘In behalf of the people of the Philippines, I would like to thank Govmedia Awards for this affirmation of the vision of our President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. for tourism transformation where every journey to the Philippines provides an enhanced overall tourism experience. Through our Tourist Rest Areas, we ensure the comfort and convenience of our tourists as they visit our destinations. Throu
gh our Filipino Brand of Service Excellence Program, every visit to the Philippines is not just enjoyable but also filled with the profound love and hospitality that sets our country apart,’ Frasco said.

‘Thank you to our team at the Department of Tourism, TIEZA (Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority), and to all our private tourism stakeholders and partners for working with us on this transformative journey as we continue to strive for sustainability, excellence, and innovation in Philippine tourism.’

She received the awards with TIEZA Assistant Chief Operating Officer Joy Bulauitan and DOT Office of Industry and Manpower Development (OIMD) OIC Director Arlene Alipio.

‘I invite everyone to visit our nation where there are countless reasons to celebrate and love the Philippines,’ Frasco added.

The TRA, Frasco’s brainchild, features the provision of clean restrooms with showers for tourists in transit to different tourist destinations.

It also has a coffee shop, ‘pasalubong’ and tourist inf
ormation area, a charging station, and a souvenir store carrying various products that are proudly made in the Philippines using local materials and design.

With the help of TIEZA and the DOT’s partnership with local government units (LGU), as many as 10 TRAs have been built in major tourist destinations across the Philippines with more than 20 expected to be constructed in the coming months.

This year, new TRAs will be spread out in Batanes, Pangasinan, Bulacan, Palawan, Camarines Sur, Albay, Panay Island, Tacloban City, Eastern Samar, Misamis Oriental, Tacurong City in Sultan Kudarat, Siargao in Surigao del Norte, Sulu, and Tawi-Tawi, among others.

TIEZA funds and constructs the TRAs, while the DOT monitors and evaluates the project as its primary concept originator. The LGUs look after the day-to-day operation and maintenance of the area.

The TRA brought the DOT the win in the Infrastructure Project of the Year – Tourism category while the DOT bagged the Training Program of the Year – Tourism for the F
BSE training.

The FBSE training program is an initiative of the DOT that intends to provide excellent service to local and international tourists visiting the Philippines.

It includes one of the warm and sincere ways of welcoming tourists, the ‘Mabuhay and Salamat’ gestures throughout their arrival and until they leave, serving guests under the seven values of Filipino hospitality where there will be an opportunity to showcase the Filipino brand of service excellence at tourist touchpoints.

Since its inception, the program has conducted 2,997 training sessions and empowered 148,710 trained stakeholders in all regions of the Philippines by the end of 2023.

This effort is supported by a network of trainers through a dedicated train-the-trainer program.

Stakeholders from various sectors across the country have recognized the program and requested the DOT to conduct the FBSE among their personnel and staff.

Meanwhile, the DOT’s marketing arm, the Tourism Promotions Board, also bagged the Tourism Initiative
of the Year, with the agency’s Chief Operating Officer Marga Nograles accepting the award with Frasco.

The GovMedia Conference and Awards is a prestigious event that spotlights outstanding government projects and initiatives in Asia that contribute to the well-being of the people in the region.

Source: Philippines News Agency