International sports event Ironman 70.3 Asia Pacific once again clinched major awards at the second Philippine Sports Tourism Awards (PSTA) on December 5, 2018, held at Savoy Hotel Manila.

The triathlon event won the International Event of the Year award and the Destination Marketing of the Year, which aims to highlight the City of Lapu-Lapu, Province of Cebu and the Department of Tourism Region 7, under partnership with Sunrise Events Inc.

Sunrise Events Inc. also won the Organizer of the Year (Private) title.

Princess Galura, general manager of Sunrise Events Inc. accepted the awards for Ironman 70.3. Galura said that the triathlon event has been vital in positioning Cebu as one of the primary destinations for sports tourism for both local and international enthusiasts.

“We have been with PSTA since Day 1, and we are honoured that Ironman Asia Pacific has been recognized once again, making Cebu and the country as a whole the No. 1 sports destination,” Galura said.

She added that the triathlon event saw a major boost in tourism, with spectators coming from international markets.

Sunrise Events Inc. have also been hailed in the first PSTA in 2016 as Organizer of the Year, and Ironman 70.3 Asia Pacific as International Event of the Year.

Meanwhile, Cobra Ironman, also organized by Sunrise Events Inc. clinched the Event Sponsorship of the Year award, while Tabuelan 111, an event hosted by the municipality of Tubuelan, was also cited twice as Organizer of the Year (Government) and Domestic Event of the Year.

This year, PSTA welcomed two new categories—Airline of the Year, which was given to the Philippine  Airlines, and the Hotel of the Year to Shangri-La’s Mactan Resort and Spa.

Other awards given were Subic Bay for the Destination of the Year Award, while the City of Dumaguete was awarded Organizer of the Year (Government).

Dumaguete City Mayor Felipe Antonio Remollo said that the city has seen growth in tourism arrivals when they started organizing events.

“This award will top off all the tourism awards we got this year. Recently, we were awarded the Retirement Area Deemed as Retiree-Friendly for 2018 and one of the Best Places to Retire in the World according to the Retire Overseas Index.

“I always believe that the sports is a great equalizer. Sports in Dumaguete unites the people. There was a time when we hosted beach volleyball, there was no traffic. Truly, sports is also a great unifier,” Remollo added.

Other awardees were: Event of the Year (Domestic)—Visit Davao Summer Festival; Destination Marketing of the Year—Cebu Pacific for its promotions of Siargao; National Sports Association of the Year—Philippine Football Federation for initiating the home and away Philippine Football League; Airline of the Year—Philippine Airlines; Event Sponsorship of the Year—Century Tuna Ironman; and Charity Event of the Year—Fundlife International.

The awardees were selected by a panel of judges from different sports tourism sectors, including the Department of Tourism (DOT), Philippine Sports Commission and the Philippine Olympic Committee.

According to Charles Lim, chairman and founder of the PSTA, the awards event is a fitting tribute for stakeholders who had vastly contributed to the promotion of sports tourism in the Philippines, making the country a world-class destination for sports.

“Once again the awardees are of par excellence, and this event honors them for their efforts and professionalism in creating and hosting the sports events which have encouraged more visitors, locally and from overseas, to participate,” he said.

PSTA awards were the result of the Sports Tourism Forum (STF) that started in 2014 in Cebu City.

The STF encourages local sports organizers, government agencies, sports clubs, schools, associations and companies to organize sports events to promote tourism in their respective regions through a series of seminars and workshops. STFs have been held in Cebu, Davao, Manila, Bacolod, Cagayan de Oro, Laoag, Clark Freeport, Puerto Princesa and Subic.

Lim noted that sports tourism is in line with the Department of Tourism’s (DOT) goal of introducing new tourism products such as medical tourism and faith tourism.

“The Philippines, as a sports destination, holds a lot of potential,” he said. “A lot of tourists come here, although they may not join to compete, they come here because of sports activities like scuba diving.”

Lim added that the PSTA is a timely recognition as well as a boost to popularizing sports tourism since the country will be hosting the 2019 Southeast Games in several cities in Luzon. To be organized by the Philippines SEA Games Organizing Committee, eleven countries from Southeast Asia will be competing in Luzon, particularly Subic, Manila, Tagaytay/Batangas, and in Capas, Tarlac.

Nominations for the third PSTA is already open until March 31.

The second PSTA was supported by the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp., SaVoy Hotel Manila, JG Summit, Coca-Cola Femsa and is presented by Selrahco and Primetime Group. The STF and PSTA were also supported by the DOT, Philippine Sports Commission and the Pagcor.

Organized by Selrahco, a tourism marketing and public relations group, the PSTA are given to different entities, event organizers, hotels, airlines, government agencies, sports associations, destinations, corporate sponsors and charities for their efforts in promoting sports tourism in the Philippines.

Founded in Cebu, Selrahco has been in the public relations and events management industry since 1997.


Date: January 6, 2019 | By: Gelyka Dumaraos | Newspaper: Business Mirror | Source: