MANILA, 25 May 2022: The Philippines’ Department of Tourism launches Version Two of the Save Our Spots (SOS) campaign titled ‘Keep the Fun Going’ to encourage tourists to practice eco-friendly travel.

The campaign builds on the gains of the SOS Version Two, launched in 2019 to educate travellers about becoming responsible tourists. The campaign aims to educate and motivate travellers to take part in sustainable tourism practices, mainly through gamified challenges.

“The DOT has been integrating sustainable tourism principles in its projects, programs, and policies, even involving tourists. Through the SOS campaign, we aim to raise awareness about responsible travel and emphasise that every small act goes a long way to ensure that future generations will continue to benefit from and enjoy nature’s abundance,” said Tourism Secretary Berna Romulo-Puyat.

Inspiring tourists to practice sustainable travel, the campaign highlights a gamified experience featuring four eco-friendly ways to travel. Local travel influencers encourage the public to accomplish at least two of the four activities.

The “Certified Foot Soldier Challenge” encourages travellers to walk, hike, or bike more often.

The “Zero-Waste Warrior” inspires travellers to reduce waste by avoiding single-use plastics and bringing reusable water bottles, utensils, and shopping bags.

The “resTOURism Advocate Challenge” encourages tourists to volunteer in restoration efforts of communities, such as planting activities, clean-up drives, and wildlife preservation.

The “Eco-Staycationer Challenge” motivates tourists to book eco-friendly accommodations, such as local homestays or ANAHAW-awardee hotels that take action to promote sustainability.

Marco Polo Davao reopens soon

Meanwhile, tourism officials in Davao City are counting on reopening the city’s Marco Polo hotel to jump-start recovery.

The Philippines News Agency quoted the Department of Tourism Davao region’s director Tanya Rabat-Tan saying the hotel’s reopening would create a ripple effect in the city’s business sector.

“Marco Polo’s reopening also signals Davao’s commitment to tourism recovery. We are delighted that the reopening will also mean job opportunities for our tourism workers, especially those displaced by the pandemic,” she said.

The DOT regional office has been organising training sessions for industry players, including indigenous communities, to prepare for Davao City’s full recovery.

“Even in a crisis, we continue to find opportunities on how we can rethink and reshape a more resilient tourism for the future,” Tan said.

The City Tourism Operations Office confirmed that the city’s first five-star Marco Polo hotel has promised to reopen this year.

“It is very welcome news. Marco Polo is an icon in Davao City. To have it reopen signifies that the management is confident with the city’s economic outlook and its ability to bounce back after the pandemic,” the city’s tourism chief Generose Tecson told Philippine News Agency.

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(Source: PNA)