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DOT invites homestay groups to vie for 2025 ASEAN Homestay Award

Siquijor Provincial Tourism Council Chair Joy Dominie “Bambi” Chan (right) processing the renewal of accreditation for her homestay in Siquijor province during the Mobile Accreditation Caravan of the Department of Tourism at the Bagong Pilipinas Serbisyo Fair held recently at the Siquijor State College Gymnasium. (DOT7 FB photo)

LARENA, Siquijor (PIA) -- The Department of Tourism (DOT) is encouraging homestay associations to join the 2025 Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Homestay Award. 

This was disclosed by Joy Dominie U. Chan, chairperson of the Siquijor Provincial Tourism Council and one of the officers of the Siquijor Isla Mystica Homestay Association (SIMHA). 

SIMHA was twice awarded the ASEAN Standard Homestay award, which is given to associations that create a new brand of tourist experience showcasing local family traditions. 

Chan urged those who are offering homestay services in the island to get accredited with DOT. 

“We encourage homestays and those engaged in secondary tourism services like restaurants, to get accredited aron ma maintain nato ang (so that we can maintain the) DOT standards,” she said. 

She said getting accredited ensures safe and quality service for tourists and prevents “bogus” and scams in the tourism industry. 

“Kay ug dili ta ma-accredited, naa diha ang delikado, dili pud makaayo sa atoang tourism industry sa Siquijor,” said Chan. 

(If we don't get accredited, there is a risk involved. It won't help our tourism industry in Siquijor, either.) 

“With DOT accreditation, we can assure that the service we provide is legal, legit and safe,” she said. 

The ASEAN Homestay Award ceremony was first held during the ASEAN Tourism Forum meeting in January 2016 in Manila where 31 Homestay Standard Certificates were awarded to homestay organizations and providers. 

Of the total, there were five winners from the Philippines, all coming from Siquijor island, namely: Agan’s Homestay, Ates Homestay, Estelita Homestay, Xylla’s Homestay, and Daval/Omandam Homestay.

According to the ASEAN Homestay Standard, the homestay program is a form of alternative tourism in which tourists are given the opportunity to experience the way of life in a typical village with a local community.

Distribution of DOT accreditation certificates to accredited tourism stakeholders in Siquijor during the Bagong Pilipinas Serbisyo Fair opening ceremony at the Siquijor State College, Larena, Siquijor. (DOT7 FB photo)
DOT accreditation

Chan, who manages the Dapdap Sunset Grill Beachfront Homestay, was one of the homestay providers awarded with the DOT Accreditation Certificate for Tourism Standards during the Bagong Pilipinas Serbisyo Fair (BPSF) held recently at the Siquijor State College Gymnasium. 

DOT rolled out their Mobile Accreditation Caravan during the BPSF where they offered free services, such as application or renewal of DOT accreditations, physical inspection of establishments, and releasing of IDs for community tour guides. 

“The DOT accreditation team did a very good job in assisting our stakeholders in processing their online application and renewal. Nalipay ko I was awarded the certificate. Nalibre ko sa P600,” she shared. 

(I’m happy I was awarded with the certificate. I was spared from paying P600.) 

Chan processed the manual application for renewal after her accreditation expired in October 2023. 

“Ni assist gyud sila (DOT) para pagprocess sa online registration ug diretso na ang inspection of the establishment. Nalipay ko kay chance nani para ma-asistahan ug mocorrect pud ang among mga lapses, kay ug mag-online registration, naa pay possibility nga mo-down ang system,” she said. 

(DOT helped me in processing the online registration and they immediately inspected the establishment. I am happy because this is also the chance for us to correct our lapses. Because if we do online registration ourselves, it will take time especially if the system is down.) 

Chan encouraged homestays and other accommodation establishments to comply with DOT’s requirements and get accredited to give better service to their tourists and guests. 

The accreditation is a certificate issued by the DOT recognizing the holder as having complied with its minimum standards in the operation of the establishment concerned, which ensures the safety, comfort, and convenience of the tourists.

Aimed at streamlining the process for accommodation establishments, travel agencies, and other tourism services seeking accreditation, the mobile caravan aims to ensure contactless transactions and hazard-free interactions. (RAC/PIA7-Siquijor)

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Rachelle Nessia

Assistant Regional Head

Region 7

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