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Philippines among “friendliest countries”

Asia’s leading beach destination

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Less than an hour away from Manila by plane, Boracay Island, one of the top beaches in the Philippines, is a world-renowned travel destination known for its long stretch of powdery white sand, crystal clear and azure waters, and a stunning sunset. Story on p4. Photo by Rey-Ar Reyes

The Philippines was voted as one of the 10 friendliest countries in the world in the 2022 Condé Nast Traveler (CNT) Readers’ Choice Awards.

Ranked by almost a quarter of a million CNT readers, the country also secured back-to-back wins as the luxury travel magazine named Boracay as “top island” in Asia, and Palawan as the eighth.

“Just making it into the top 10, the Philippines’ (made up of around 7,641 islands) inclusion is proof that the famous Filipino hospitality is alive and kicking,” Conde Nast said on October 4 as the awards’ winners were released.

“The country has often been praised for its seemingly effortless ability to lavish genuine hospitality on visitors, foreigners, or expatriates. Many people consider the Banaue Rice Terraces here to be the ‘Eighth Wonder of the World,’ though plenty of other beauty spots abound here. The islands are peppered with majestic mountainscapes, decorative churches and sprawling sandy beaches,” it added.

Aside from being one of the friendliest, the Philippines was also hailed as the 30th best country to travel to, scoring 86.66 and besting Costa Rica, Belize, Germany, Malta, Indonesia, Mexico, France, Argentina, and Switzerland, among others.

Tourism Secretary Christina Frasco, meanwhile, said this is a welcome development that reaffirms the Department of Tourism’s (DOT) efforts to position the Philippines as a premier destination in Asia.

“Recognitions such as these affirm our efforts to herald not only our country’s natural wonders but also our readiness to become the premier tourist destination in Asia. The department is one with all our tourism stakeholders, from the local government units, private sector partners, and our fellowmen in celebrating these victories for the Philippines from Condé Nast Traveler,” she added.

Palawan, which garnered an 88.99 rating, is joined by equally heralded island destinations from Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, and Japan on the Conde Nast Travel Asia list.

Philippines is Asia’s leading beach destination

The 29th World Travel Awards (WTA) 2022, held in September in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, awarded the Philippines for the sixth time as the Leading Beach Destination in Asia. At the same time, WTA also named it  Asia’s Leading Dive Destination title for four straight years since 2019, edging Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand.

Intramuros Manila is this year’s Asia’s Leading Tourist Attraction, winning over the likes of Angkor Temples of Cambodia; Ha Long Bay of Vietnam; Tokyo Imperial Palace of Japan; and Victoria Peak of Hong Kong.

Intramuros is known as the “Walled City” and is the oldest district and historic core of Manila. It was the seat of government and political power when the Philippines was still under Spanish rule. Intramuros is Manila’s only district where travellers can see complete architectural remnants of the Spanish Era.

Established in 1993, the London-based WTA acknowledges excellence in the travel and tourism industry in three tiers: country, regional, and world awards across different categories.

Sources: Philippines DOT, PNA, Condé Nast Traveler, and World Travel Awards