NEW YORK—The Philippines now has the bragging rights: two of its islands—Palawan and Boracay—have been chosen by the readers of Travel+Leisure Magazine as the Top Island destinations in the world.
This year’s top vote-getter in the category is Palawan, which won over last year’s top island, Boracay. Also receiving an award is Discovery Shores in Boracay as the #1 hotel spa in Asia and #3 overall.
“Palawan’s win is quite a surprise but it only shows how there is a growing awareness of the international tourism potential of different locales in the Philippines,” said Deputy Consul General Tess Dizon-de Vega, who received the awards. “The emergence of Palawan also shows the growing diversity of destination choices—Palawan offers traditional island attractions (sand, sea) but also ecotourism attractions such as the underground river.”
“Many of the guests also expressed surprise at the Palawan win but editors at T+L noted that the island really has many unique features and offers many opportunities for visitors to explore these at a relaxed pace. In fact Ms. Niloufar Motamed, Features Editor & Senior Correspondent at T+L told us that she recently visited Palawan,” de Vega added.
Now in its 18th year, the Travel + Leisure Awards looks upon its readers to vote for the best of the best in travel destinations and tourism facilities around the world. Travel + Leisure Magazine has over 5000 subscribers to its print edition and over 33 million monthly web page viewers, over half of which currently hold passports and are seasoned travelers. Their seasoned tastes and preferences make this one of the most prestigious awards in travel.
The award ceremony was held last July 18 in New York City. The award plaques were presented by Travel + Leisure editor in chief Nancy Novogrod. Deputy Consul General De Vega was joined by Consul Zaldy Patron to receive the awards on behalf of the Philippine Department of Tourism.
“This is the second year in a row that a Philippine Island has been named Top Island for this very prestigious award. It just comes to show that people are starting to take notice of how much fun it really is in the Philippines,” said Mitch Dy, DOT-New York’s officer-in-charge.
In order for the Philippines to capitalize on these wins and ensure that Philippine tourism continues its steady rise, de Vega offered a few insights.
“There is growing interest in Philippine tourism and requires a sustained, multisectoral effort to keep the momentum going. We have to keep accelerating the pace of tourism infrastructure development coupled with marketing efforts. And the Filipino overseas community is a vital component of this because Filipinos aboard are the best Ambassadors for our country among their colleagues, peers and networks,” she said.
(NYNJ July 26 – August 1, 2013 Sec A pg.1)