Adopting sustainable tourism for the environment


Costales Natural Farm [Photo courtesy of the Department of Tourism]

MANILA – On World Environment Day 2021 on June 5, the Department of Tourism (DOT) urged hotels and resorts to become DOT accredited to receive assistance in its rapid adoption of practices sustainable.

“Reviving the local economy and creating livelihoods is DOT’s current priority. However, the pandemic has allowed us to be more persistent in our goal of instilling responsibility in businesses to become more sustainable,” Tourism Secretary Berna Romulo-Puyat said in a press release issued on Friday. night.

Puyat explained that the benefits of being accredited are equivalent to getting DOT assistance in many aspects of running a tourism business, but more specifically, access to technical tools and experts who can help a business. establishment to go green.

“(The) DOT will continue to focus on marketing sustainability to the public, educating them on how to be sustainable tourists while encouraging tourists to support accredited businesses that have best environmental practices,” she declared.

Lay the foundations

Community tourism program at The Sabang Mangrove River, Puerto Princesa, Palawan, run by The Sabang Mangrove Paddle Boat Tour Guide Association Inc. (Photo courtesy of the Ministry of Tourism]Legend

The Tourism Law of 2009, the Philippines’ first and only tourism law, has long been the bible of the main tourism organization by delivering programs that would benefit the industry.

A recent example is the 2019 DOT Save Our Spots (SOS) campaign, which aimed to inspire the public, businesses and communities to take a long-term view of tourism.

Another is the Department’s Joint Circular on Rules and Regulations Governing the Conduct of Interaction with Marine Wildlife Tourism in the Philippines, in conjunction with the Departments of Environment, Agriculture and Interior.

“DOT has worked on integrating the principles of sustainable tourism into its projects and policies. We have taught our tourists and tour operators to do the little things we can do to preserve our tourist destinations, ”said Puyat.

DOT also conducts community training for the tourism workforce, including boatmen, masseuses and souvenir sellers, to provide them with skills and technical knowledge that will help them do their jobs better.

Seminars on food waste management are also offered to accommodation providers and restaurateurs and culinary training aimed at reintroducing local heritage or dishes to tourists.

Adopt green practices

The number one asset of tourism are the country’s natural resources, and tourist establishments have a role to play in their conservation.

The DOT revised the accreditation standards for hotels and resorts to incorporate environmental indicators into the star rating system of these types of accommodation establishments, with the aim of encouraging business owners to be more environmentally friendly in their daily operations.

With technical assistance from the European Union-FREE, DOT developed the ANAHAW Philippine Sustainable Tourism Certification awards in 2018 for the same reason, making it the local equivalent of the Asean Green Hotel Awards.

ANAHAW studies how accommodation establishments manage and reduce their waste, energy consumption and water consumption.

Corporate social responsibility is also a factor, with establishments that employ locals and purchase local products ranking higher in the rating system.

ANAHAW certification will put a business with a competitive advantage as the awareness of travelers is already very high.

“ANAHAW certification is one of our ways of ensuring excellent service to our tourists without compromising our natural resources and the community. Our tourists are more likely to support environmentally conscious tourism operators, ”said Puyat.

Examples of establishments that have received ANAHAW certification are the Crimson Hotel and Spa Mactan in Cebu, the Nurture Wellness Village in Tagaytay, the Club Balai Isabel in Batangas and the Daluyon Beach and Mountain Resort in Palawan.

The Spa at Shangri-la Mactan Resort and Spa in Cebu [Photos courtesy of Shangri-la Mactan Resort and Spa]

Running the right campaigns and having compliant establishments can only work if tourists themselves recognize their role in driving sustainable tourism, she said, noting that the main goal of sustainable tourism is that future generations experience and benefit from the same, if not better, resources present today.

For more information on how to be a responsible traveler, visit or download the Travel Philippines app from or the Google Playstore. (RP)

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