Cebu's Barangay Bojo among 'best tourism villages' in the world

Published December 6, 2021, 2:49 PM

by Alexandria Dennise San Juan

A local suburb in Cebu was named as one of the world’s “Best Tourism Villages” of the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), the Department of Tourism (DOT) announced.

(Screen capture from World Tourism Organization’s Facebook Page)

Barangay Bojo in Aloguinsan, Cebu was among the 44 villages from 32 countries included in the Best Tourism Villages list by the UNWTO published last week.

Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat celebrated UNWTO’s recognition of the “remarkable work” of the local community in Bojo through the Bojo Aloguinsan Ecotourism Association (BAETAS) and the strong support of the municipality of Aloguinsan.

“A local destination being included into the UNWTO Best Tourism Villages Program on its pilot year is a testament to the Philippines’ commitment to sustainable tourism development from the national level down to the grassroots,” Puyat said.

“The wealth of our natural resources and unmatched hospitality remains our key strength as we strive for the reopening of the industry to international travelers anchored on the principle of safe and sustainable tourism,” she added.

Home of the world-renowned Bojo River, Bojo is also famous for its hills, underwater natural resources, mangroves, birds, and responsible locals.

The BAETAS has been providing a Bojo River Eco-Cultural Tour, its main tourism activity—the profit from which were shared among the local government, community fund, barangay fund, and the wages and payment to its suppliers.

Bojo’s eco-cultural tour was also ranked by Green Destinations as among the Top 100 Global Sustainable Destinations in 2016, 2017, and 2018.

Tourism Officer-in-Charge-Undersecretary Verna Buensuceso and Philippine Ambassador to Spain Philippe Jones Lhuiller received Bojo’s award in Madrid last Dec. 2 on behalf of the Philippines.

According to UNWTO, the best tourism villages stood out for their natural and cultural resources as well as for their innovative and transformative actions and commitment to tourism development in line with the sustainable development goals.

The program was launched to advance the role of tourism as a tool for rural development—with its aim to value and safeguard rural villages along with their associated landscapes and knowledge systems among others.

Aside from the recognition given to Barangay Bojo, Barangay Tenani in the Province of Samar has been selected to participate in the UNWTO’s Upgrade Programme of the Best Tourism Villages—receiving the Organization’s support in improving elements of the areas identified as gaps in the evaluation process.