The Philippines for the third straight year was voted Asia's top beach and dive destination by the World Travel Awards, the Department of Tourism said Tuesday, pending resumption of international leisure travel.
It's the fifth time over-all that the country received the honor, voted by travelers and industry peers. The DOT said it was a much-needed boost, given how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected tourism for over a year now.
“This will boost our efforts to keep the Philippines as a top-of-mind destination for foreign tourists as we await the resumption of international leisure travel to the country, consistent with our 'More Fun Awaits' global campaign,” said DOT Sec. Berna Romulo-Puyat.
Highlighting some of the country’s top beach destinations such as Boracay in Aklan, Siargao in Surigao del Norte, and El Nido and Amanpulo in Palawan, that have opened up to domestic travel, the DOT said the country was "ready to welcome" foreign tourists once allowed.
The safety of visitors is being prioritized through strict implementation of health protocols. More than half or about 65.53% of tourism workers in the country have received their COVID-19 jabs as of Oct. 16, DOT said.
Apart from developing more beach destinations, the DOT cited efforts to identify potential spots for dive tourism to add to the country's portfolio that includes the Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park in Palawan, Anilao in Batangas, Malapascua and Moalboal in Cebu, Balicasag, Panglao and Anda in Bohol, and Puerto Galera in Oriental Mindoro.
Voting is still ongoing until midnight of Oct. 25 for the following awards that the country is also trying to bag:
World’s Leading Beach Destination 2021: Philippines
World’s Leading Dive Destination 2021: Philippines
World’s Leading Island Destination 2021: Siargao, Philippines
World’s Leading Tourist Attraction 2021: Intramuros, Philippines
World’s Leading Tourist Board 2021: Philippines, Department of Tourism