Palawan bags UK’s most desirable island travel award

Palawan continues to reap world recognition, this time as the most desirable island by the 21st Wanderlust Travel Award in the United Kingdom.

“The scenery here is heaven on earth with sparkling waters and white sand beaches. One of the most photographed sites is Kayangan, a dazzling freshwater lake with spectacular rock formations above and below the surface,” Wanderlust wrote.

“Elsewhere on the island you can explore one of the world’s longest underground rivers, enjoy a spot of twitching, or fuel up with some delicious cuisine in the island’s capital of Puerto Princesa,” it added.

The Philippines also placed 6th among hundreds of special entries in the Wanderlust Sustainability Initiative Category for its Dive7 Program. The awards were given on November 9 by the prestigious Wanderlust travel magazine, one of the United Kingdom’s longest running publications that has been at the forefront of sustainable travel for 29 years.

Cebu was also nominated this year as Most Desirable Region (Rest of the World) by the award-giving body.

“These awards reflect the efforts that are well underway to revive the tourism industry, especially because of the Marcos administration’s thrust to prioritize tourism development. Rest assured that we will continue with our mission to herald the Philippines and the Filipino brand to the world, and to ensure the continued sustainability of our islands” said DOT Secretary Christina Garcia Frasco, who led the Philippine delegation to the recent World Travel Market meet held in London. 

The new awards add to the long list of recognitions the country has earned even at the height of the Covid-19 crisis.

In June this year, Conde Nast Travel named the Philippines as one of the 40 Most Beautiful Countries in the World, citing, specifically the remarkable cave system of the Puerto Princesa Underground River, the mysteriously uniform Chocolate Hills of Bohol, and the panoramic views of the Banaue and Cordilleras Rice Terraces.

Last July, the renowned Travel + Leisure magazine also named the country’s tourist magnets including Boracay, Cebu and Palawan as among the 25 Best Islands in the World.

TIME Magazine also lauded Boracay as one of the 50 World’s Greatest Places of 2022. In September, the Philippines won Asia’s leading dive and beach destination, and the historic Walled City of Intramuros as Asia’s leading tourist attraction at the World Travel Awards in Vietnam. Vietnam.

Since February this year, foreign tourists have been traveling to the Philippines, which have reached over 1.9 million as of the latest posting.

With less than two months before 2022 ends, Palawan’s tourist arrivals have already breached the half million mark, signaling its return as one of the country’s top tourist draws.

The Department of Tourism (DOT) said 65% of the more than 782,000 tourist arrivals in the Mimaropa region. Records show that from January to November 11 this year, a total of 507,164 visited Palawan.

After reeling from the effects of the pandemic, followed by the devastation caused by Typhoon Odette in December last year, Palawan is now again ready and eager to welcome more guests.

Recently, Palawan was hailed as the world’s “most desirable island” by the 21st Wanderlust Travel Magazine. The United Kingdom-based publication described it as a “paradise with sceneries like heaven on earth.”

With a total area of more than 14,000 square kilometers,  Palawan indeed has a lot to offer. It is home to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization-inscribed Puerto Princesa Subterranean River, karst limestone formations in El Nido, and the world-renowned scuba diving site Tubbataha Reefs, among many other tourist spots.

“The province is so blessed with such natural endowments of spectacular rock formations, sparkling waters, white sand beaches, and rich marine life that is incomparable to other islands in the world,” Bevienne Malateo, DOT-Mimaropa director, said in a recent interview.

“From the Calamianes Group of Islands down to Balabac Island in the South, Palawan continues to mesmerize people around the globe. We are thankful that we are able to share this beautiful destination with all our travelers,” Malateo added. (With PNA report)