Some of Asia's best are in the Philippines

The 2020 World Travel Awards, in which our country won four of the most prestigious titles, is giving you a lot more reasons to explore our many islands in the sun

SEA IT TO BELIEVE IT There is an abundance of natural resources and marine life in the country (photo by Erwin T. Lim)

There is no denying the beauty of thePhilippines. The archipelago is brimming with postcard-worthy sceneries, pristine and unspoiled beaches, and crystal clear,aquamarine waters.People from all over the world would frequent the country for the climate, people, culture, and landscapes. Only a few places could match the allure of the Pearl of the Orient seas.

In November last year, international visitor arrivals in the country rose dramatically, a momentum indicative of another record-high finish for our tourism industry. And so, it does not come as a surprise that the Philippines has recently bagged this year’s Asia’s best leading beach destination and Asia’s leading dive destination in the Asian edition of the 27th World Travel Awards.

TRAVEL QUEEN Berna Romulo-Puyat, the DOT Secretary

“These recognitions are certainly an inspiration to the industry as we safely and gradually reopen our destinations for tourism. These would not be possible without the combined efforts from our tourism stakeholders, local government units, partner agencies, and our fellow Filipinos who have tirelessly promoted our country’s attractions, products, and culture,” muses tourism secretary Berna Romulo-Puyat.

This is the fourth instance we have won Asia’s best leading beach, whileit is our second time to beAsia’s leading diving destination. ThePhilippine Department of Tourism (DOT), as a matter of fact, identifies dive tourism as one of the essential areas in the National Tourism Development Plan (NTDP) 2016–2022, which can positively affect industry growth in terms of rise in visitor count, extended stay, and higher tourism revenue.

Intramuros was also hailed as Asia’s leading tourist attraction, while the DOTwas recognized as the leading tourist board in Asia, both for the second time around. The executive department beats 11 other nominated countries. On the other hand, luxury Palawan island resort Amanpulo was conferred the title of Asia’s leading private island resort.

Our country has over 7,000 islands and the fifth largest coastline in the world. There are thousands of beaches to choose from, all of which are breathtaking and praiseworthy. There are, however, those that are a cut above the rest, such as El Nido on the northern tip of mainland Palawan, with its gorgeous rock formations. There are also Western Visayas’ Boracay, formerly the beach party capital, known for its pure white sand, and Siargao, the surf capital, strategically situated in the country’s eastern coast, among others. 

WITHIN THE WALLS Intramuros is home to many heritage streets and structures such as this (photo by Paco Guerrero)

While the beaches are great, there are other areas in the country that are equally as bewitching and engaging, like the Banaue Rice Terraces, Chocolate Hills, Mount Mayon, Hinatuan Enchanted River, and the rolling hills, and azure sky and sea of Batanes.

Remaining nominations under the world category areLeading Beach Destination, World’s Leading Dive Destination 2020, both for Philippines, and World’s Leading Island Destination 2020 for Siargao.

Our country has over 7,000 islands and the fifth largest coastline in the world. There are thousands of beaches to choose from, all of which are breathtaking and praiseworthy.

The World Travel Awards has contributed to growing global tourism standards by determining brands and best practices from the travel and hospitality industries in an annual series of gala ceremonies held per continent. Each year is capped off with a grand final gala.

COAST IS CLEAR Nothing can compare to the beauty of the beaches of the Philippines (photo by Erwin T. Lim)

Travel, for most part, has been put on hold due to the pandemic. Luckily, quarantine restrictions have begun to ease up lately. In response to this, the DOT has been gradually reopening several tourism destinations in the country, of course, giving top priority to health and safety. Some of the destinations that have reopened for local tourists are Baguio, Boracay, El Nido, Ilocos Norte, and several diving spots in Batangas province.

If you want to go out, maybe celebrate the country’s achievements by visiting some of the extraordinary sites that have reopened, do so, but always maintain social distancing and follow all health protocols. We may have won the tourism battle, but the war against Covid is far from over.