In a country where natural wonders make up the bulk of tourism, the pressure to move towards the path of sustainability has never been stronger. Each year, as much as seven million people reportedly visit the Philippines, whether to explore its mountainous regions or rest in its idyllic beaches. While these figures indicate good economic returns for the country, they also imply an urgent need to act in the interest of the environment and local communities.
In response, the Department of Tourism (DOT) is actively pushing for a sustainable approach to travel and tourism. With the rehabilitation of Boracay as its prime example, DOT is working to prevent other islands like Panglao, El Nido, Coron, and Siargao from suffering the same fate.
Next to Boracay, the island of Siargao has been a hot topic when it comes to environmental sustainability. Dubbed as the country’s surfing mecca, Siargao is on many a traveler’s bucket list, with Condé Nast even recognizing the island as one of the best destinations in Asia.
It comes as no surprise then that the recent partnership between Globe and DOT has marked Siargao as its flagship project, as Globe beefs up its digital infrastructure across major tourism sites in the Philippines. The pair share the goal of transforming the tourism sector into a digital-savvy industry that empowers not only travelers, but also local businesses, communities, and environmental conservationists.
From September 25 to 28, Globe held Siargao Sustainability Week, where they launched several initiatives as part of their collaboration with DOT. Among these were the installation of cellular sites in the towns of Pilar, General Luna, and Dapa to enhance mobile coverage in Siargao, and the distribution of Wi-Fi services and traveler SIM cards to tourists arriving in the island. The week-long event also featured the turnover of Globe’s e-Waste initiatives to the Siargao Tourism Operators Association (STOA), where residents could drop off their electronic wastes.
The pair share the goal of transforming the tourism sector into a digital-savvy industry that empowers travelers, local businesses, and communities.
Partnerships with local businesses like Lokal Siargao, Bathala Land Tours, and Bayatakan Farm Experiences are also in the works for Globe and DOT.
Aside from stimulating tourism growth in Siargao, these initiatives will also help equip members of the local community—from business owners to environmental conservationists—to take care of the island and spread the word on responsible travel and sustainable living.
This 2019, the Siargao Cloud 9 Surfing Cup Men’s Qualifying Series (QS) is celebrating its 25th anniversary with the World Surf League Asia. This year’s competition will be happening from October 4 to 9.
While you’re here, check out our documentary on Siargao, which looks into some of the issues surrounding one of the country’s most popular destinations.