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Clark feted as top sports destination

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.