SIPALAY City – The Department of Tourism (DOT) in Western Visayas is positioning this southern Negros city to be recognized as a clean tourist city and a top sustainable destination.
Sipalay, which is about 175 kilometers from Bacolod City, is known for its white sand beaches and crystal clear waters, attracting both foreign and local tourists seeking a tranquil getaway.
Artemio Ticar, regional administrative officer of DOT-6 who joined the familiarization tour here on Monday, said Sipalay could be the next awardee of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Clean Tourist City and the Top 100 Sustainable Destinations from the province.
Both these international recognitions have been received by San Carlos City situated in northern Negros.
Sipalay is also capable of achieving such awards, he said.
Ticar, designated tourism area development head for Negros Occidental, noted that Sipalay, like San Carlos, has also been implementing programs such as the establishment of an eco-center with a sanitary landfill and other facilities that promote environment protection and conservation.
“We hope these initiatives will enable Sipalay City to also qualify as potential recipient of these awards maybe next year,” he added.
Earlier this year, San Carlos was a recipient of the 1st ASEAN Clean Tourist City award during the ASEAN Tourism Forum in Chiang Mai, Thailand.
The city received the award after complying with the requirements of the ASEAN Clean Tourist City Standard (ACTCS), which was designed to protect the environment, thus, responding to the impacts of climate change and contributing to the sustainable development of Southeast Asian cities.
Last September, San Carlos was also recognized as among the 2018 Top 100 Sustainable Destinations by Green Destinations.
The Top 100 Sustainable Destinations initiative aims to recognize tourism destinations that have worked hard to make a difference and take sustainability seriously.
Ticar said Sipalay should also adopt “green” practices like sourcing power supply from renewable energy sources.
“These practices support our bid for sustainable tourism development on top of other aspects like ensuring standards for products and services as well as safety and security of tourists,” he added.
Jerick Lacson, city tourism operations officer, said that with emerging problems related to the environment, their tourism campaign is now focusing on being a sustainable Sipalay. (PNA)