Barangay in Cebu gains nod as one of Best Tourism Villages by UNWTO

Published December 4, 2021, 12:01 PM

by Calvin Cordova 

CEBU CITY — Owing to this world-acclaimed river, this barangay is one of the top tourist destinations in the western part of Cebu province.

Barangay Bojo added another feather on its cap when it was named as one of this year’s “Best Tourism Villages” by the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).

Barangay Bojo was the only entry from the Philippines.

The world-renowned Bojo River, a multi-awarded model of sustainable tourism which played a huge role in Barangay Bojo’s success of being named as one of this year’s “Best Tourism Villages” by the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO). (Photo courtesy of AJ Rob/Manila Bulletin)

The barangay is home to the world-renowned Bojo River, a multi-awarded model of sustainable tourism.

Bojo is the town’s crown jewel. It was named as one of the Top 100 Sustainable Destinations in the World during the World Tourism Day 2016 and Best Community-based Tourism at the ASEAN Toursim Awards 2017.

The Bojo River River Cruise was launched in 2019. It offers a 1.4 kilometer boat cruise which would take at least three hours to complete.

“Tourism can be a driver of social cohesion and inclusion by promoting a fairer distribution of benefits throughout the territory and empowering local communities. This initiative recognizes those villages committed to making tourism a strong driver of their development and wellbeing,” UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili said in a press statement.

A total of 174 villages from 75 UNWTO member states were submitted with 44 earning needed the scores needed to qualify in the list.

A village must earn a score of 80 in order to make it to the list that will be determined by UNWTO independent Advisory Board. UNWTO is the tourism promotional arm of the UN.

Aside from Bojo, other awardees were Bekhovo, Russian Federation; Bkassine, Lebanon; Caspalá, Argentina; Castelo Rodrigo, Portugal; Cuetzalan del Progreso, Mexico; Cumeada, Portugal; Gruyères, Switzerland; Batu Puteh , Malaysia; Kaunertal, Austria; Le Morne, Mauritius; Lekunberri, Spain; Maní, Mexico; Misfat Al Abriyeen, Oman; Miyama, Japan; Mokra Gora, Serbia; Morella, Spain; Mustafapaşa, Turkey; Nglanggeran, Indonesia; Niseko, Japan; Nkotsi Village, Rwanda; Old Grand Port, Mauritius; Olergesailie, Kenya; Ollantaytambo, Peru; Pano Lefkara, Cyprus; Pica, Chile; Pochampally, India; Puerto Williams, Chile; Radovljica, Slovenia; Rijal Alma’a, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia; Testo Alto, Brazil; Saas Fee, Switzerland; San Cosme y Damián, Paraguay; San Ginesio, Italy; Sidi Kaouki, Morocco; Solčava, Slovenia; Soufli, Greece; Taraklı, Turkey; The Purple Island, Republic of Korea; Ungok Village, Republic of Korea; Valposchiavo, Switzerland; Wonchi, Ethiopia; Xidi, China and Yucun, China.

Criteria for judging was divided into nine areas. These are Cultural and Natural Resources; Promotion and Conservation of Cultural Resources; Economic Sustainability; Social Sustainability; Environmental Sustainability; Tourism Potential and Development and Value Chain Integration; Governance and Prioritization of Tourism; Infrastructure and Connectivity; and Health, Safety and Security.