In the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Awards for Enterprises held recently in Saint Petersburg, Russia, Rizal’s Masungi Georeserve was recognized as one of the top three global finalists. The organization acknowledged that the geo-attraction practices sustainable tourism. Along with a finalist from Italy and another one from India, Masungi Georeserve was chosen among 190 applicants from 71 different countries for three categories: Public Policy and Governance, Enterprises, and Non-governmental Organizations.
Previously known as a site for quarry and illegal logging, the georeserve covers 2,700 hectares of land, which is now protected by the Masungi Georeserve Foundation. Found in the humble town of Baras, Rizal, the popular tourist destination is known for its limestone landscapes and a number of trails hanging high above the ground, .
The foundation stated that they want tourists and guests to see and appreciate the place the same way they do. “When we first started geotourism at Masungi, we hoped that guests would see something special in it like we did. Fast forward to today, the project is receiving its third international nod from no less than the UNWTO,” it said. “Our wish came true, for the world to see something special in a piece of rock that was abandoned many years ago, and for the world to come together to protect it.”
The foundation also noted how the recognition from UNWTO has inspired them to strive more towards their goal. “We will not, as we have not, shy away from facing the complex challenges in conservation and innovation in the Philippine setting,” it said. “On behalf of the Masungi family, thank you for supporting us in your own different ways.”