Dumaguete cited as national sports tourism hub

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Mayor Felipe Antonio Remollo said Friday that what he did during his stint as president of the Clark Development Authority in 2011 has been replicated here.

After launching the sports tourism in Clark in 2011, five years later it has become the sports destination of the country, Remollo said.

When he became mayor for the second time in 2016, Remollo introduced sports tourism in the city with the founder of Philippine Sports Tourism forum Charles Lim, and barely two years later, Dumaguete won two awards.

Remollo received for the city the Local Government Unit (LGU) Sports Organizer of the Year award during the 2nd Sports Tourism Awards held at the Savoy Hotel in Manila Wednesday evening, as well as the runner-up spot in the Destination of the Year category, next to Subic Freeport.

The mayor was assisted by Councilor Michael Bandal, who chairs the sports and tourism committee of the city; Councilor Karissa Faye Tolentino-Maxino, Councilor Manuel Arbon, City Tourism Officer Jacqueline Veloso Antonio, City Sports and Development Officer Ike Xavier Villaflores and Human Resource Office Dino Depositario.

Remollo said the award caps the previous citations and accolades that the city got this year, that include the best retiree-friendly city in the Philippines and as the fifth in the world and best-managed city in terms of resources.

The mayor believes that sports is a great equalizer, “walang mayaman, walang mahirap” (nobody is rich nor poor), and everyone is equal in sports.

“Sports is not just an equalizer but a great unifier where nations in conflict can be reunited through sports,” he said.

Remollo dedicated the awards and attributed the same to the volunteerism and cooperation of city hall employees, the private sector and the community as well, just for the love of sports.

Only recently, the city hosted at least two national events by bringing the Beach Volleyball Republic and the triathlon, which was participated in by domestic and foreign tri-athletes.

Lim, the president of Sports Tourism Forum, disclosed that from 219 nominations in 2015, this year’s nominations reached 400 that made him believe they are in the right direction.

“We just wanted to recognize Dumaguete who has done so much during the last two years in promoting sports and tourism,” Lim said, adding that with the influence in sports, sports infrastructure such as stadiums and other facilities can be greatly improved in the future and draw more tourists to the city.

With this development, Lim saw the potentials of hotels and resorts coming in because they have sporting activities to capitalize during lean seasons. (PNA)