PH is world’s leading dive destination, Intramuros also chosen as top tourist attraction in World Travel Awards 2020

Published November 28, 2020, 12:34 PM

by Vanne Elaine Terrazola

The Philippines has again been hailed as the world’s leading dive destination in the prestigious World Travel Awards this year.

The 27th World Travel Awards recognized the country as the World’s Leading Dive Destination, besting eight famous dive destinations such as Azores Islands, Bora Bora Island in French Polynesia, Cayman Islands, Fiji, Galapagos Islands, Great Barrier Reef in Australia, Maldives, and Mexico. 

This is the Philippines’ second time to get the accolade, having been awarded as top dive destination in the world in 2019.

The body also recognized Intramuros as the World’s Leading Tourist Attraction in 2020. The historical site beat 15 other attractions: Acropolis of Greece, Burj Khalifa of Dubai, the Grand Canyon National Park of USA, Mount Kilimanjaro of Tanzania, and Taj Mahal of India, among others.

“We are incredibly grateful for the recognitions given to the Philippines’ magnificent dive sites and the beautifully-restored heritage site of Intramuros at the 27th World Travel Awards. We will continue to promote sustainable, inclusive, and world-class tourism, especially now as we slowly reopen our attractions to more domestic tourists,” Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said in a statement.

Meanwhile, the Philippines was nominated as the World’s Leading Beach Destination, World’s Leading Island Destination for Siargao, World’s Leading Tourist Board for the Department of Tourism (DOT).

Earlier this month, the Philippines won as Asia’s Leading Dive Destination and Asia’s Leading Beach Destination in the Asia category of the World Travel Awards.

The DOT said it recognizes dive tourism as “one of the key areas for positive industry growth, including increased visitor count, extended length of stay, and higher tourism revenue.”

The Philippines is home to the highest concentration of coral reef life and a variety of marine species in its world-renowned dive sites such as the Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park in Palawan, Apo Reef Natural Park in Mindoro, and Apo Island in Dumaguete, among others.

Recently, Batangas reopened its dive sites establishments in Anilao for Recreational Diving, subject to a negative COVID-19 test result before travel and other minimum health and safety standards.

In Manila, meanwhile, the Intramuros Administration (IA) restores the walled city with extensive renovations such as the installation of capiz lamps in monuments and trees, colorful murals, and opening of new sites, such as the dungeon and cleaned-up and fortified military structures.

Founded in 1993, the World Travel Awards has been recognizing brands and organizations worldwide from the travel, tourism, and hospitality industries through its annual Grand Tour, a series of six regional gala ceremonies held in each continent. Each year is capped off with a Grand Final Gala.