The Clark Freeport Zone in Pampanga, which has hosted a number of sports tourism events, has been named the Sports Tourism Destination of the Year during the inaugural Philippine Sports Tourism Awards at Resorts World Manila recently.
Eight other entities and events were honored in the first-ever rites recognizing events, destinations, local government units, national sports associations (NSAs), private companies, and event organizers who have contributed to the growth of the local sports tourism industry.
Organized by the Philippine Sports Commission, the Department of Tourism, Tourism Promotions Board Philippines, and Selrahco Management, the event attracted hundreds of nominations from across the country but only nine programs were picked for their efforts to develop and promote the Philippines as a sports tourism destination.
The Clark Freeport Zone led the elite roster of awardees for its successful hosting of various sports tourism events, including racing competitions, car shows, Frisbee games, and the Philippine Hot Air Balloon Fiesta which draws around 112,000 local and foreign visitors annually.
The Municipality of Lubao and Sunrise Events, Inc. also received individual trophies as Organizers of the Year in the public and private sector categories, respectively. Both have held events that boosted local sports tourism as a viable industry in the Philippines.
Cebu’s Tabuelan 111 took the Event of the Year-Domestic honors for its successful tri-event races held in celebration of the town’s fiesta. Ironman 70.3 Philippines, meanwhile, topped the Event of the Year-International events category.
The Philippine Inter-Island Sailing Federation, which popularized boat races in the country, was named Sport Association of the Year. Ironman 70.3’s campaign to make Cebu a global sports tourism destination also won the Destination Marketing of the Year award.
The Philippine Rugby Football Union and Hong Kong-based civic group Pot Bellied Pigs Rugby Club’s Fat Boys 10s Rugby were hailed Charity Event of the Year 2015 for delivering medical assistance to 1000 kids annually through funds generated from annual golf and rugby tournaments.
Resorts World Manila Golf Masters, which catered to the event broadcasted to over 200 countries and the richest tournament in the country with $1 million in prize money, earned the Event Sponsorship Award of the Year 2015.
The panel of judges included the Philippine Olympic Committee board member and chairman for Women in Sports Cynthia Carrion-Norton, Philippine Sports Commission chairman William Ramirez, DOT Undersecretary Benito Bengzon, Strategic Works, Inc. director for public relations Mark Parlade, and Charles Lim of Selrahco Management.
Other backers of the event, the first of its kind in the ASEAN region, were tge Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation, Cebu Pacific and Resorts World Manila.