7 tourism service providers in Region 12 vie for 2014 Tourism Star Awards

GENERAL SANTOS — Tourism stakeholders in Region 12 have endorsed seven tourism service providers in the region for this year’s Tourism Star Awards Philippines.

Nelly Nita Dillera, Department of Tourism (DOT) Region 12 director, said Wednesday the seven nominees were among the 55 from various parts of the country that made it to the final phase of the prestigious awards.

She said the region’s nominees, which come from the area’s front line tourism services sector, will be vying for the top awards in various categories.

Also known as Soccsksargen, Region 12 comprises the provinces of South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani, North Cotabato and the cities of General Santos, Koronadal, Tacurong, Kidapawan and Cotabato.

The nominees are blogger Reynard Navarro, administrator of “I Love South Cotabato” website; local tour guide Mara Juanico; mountaineering enthusiast and Mt. Apo guide Marlon Ceballos; Oliver Malana, project coordinator of the Baras bird sanctuary in Tacurong City; and, Greenleaf Hotel-General Santos City staff members Novie Baay, Abeven Balanag and Rhea Lara.

Baay is a front desk officer while Balanag and Lara were part of the food and drinks as well as the sales sections, respectively, of the Greanleaf Hotel, which is the city’s first four-star hotel.

DOT-12 formally recognized the seven nominees for making it to the national search in simple rites held recently in Koronadal City.

The Tourism Star Awards is a DOT initiative that recognizes individuals and local chief executives who have provided excellent customer services and investments in tourism.

Dillera said the search is quite unique since the nominees were chosen based on recommendations made by “people who have experienced the services provided by these front liners.”

Based on the search’s guidelines, an individual cannot nominate himself/herself for the award.

The nomination was done online through the submission of a form with a testimonial narrative of specific experiences involving the identified tourism service provider.

The winners will be selected based on criteria that depict important Filipino values such as hospitality, honesty, professionalism, promptness, flexibility, adaptability and creativity. PNA

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