The prestigious Condé Nast Travel (CNT) Magazine has listed Cebu and the Visayas, Palawan, Siargao and Boracay among its Top Islands in Asia that will be honored with its 2020 Readers’ Choice Awards. They ranked first, fourth, fifth and sixth, respectively.
Reacting to this news, Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat declared: “The Philippines is indeed blessed with the best of nature, as exhibited by the consecutive accolades we are receiving from reputable and prestigious publications for our islands and beaches. This latest citation from CNT gives us in the Department of Tourism (DOT) a boost of confidence, as we continuously carry out our strategies to gradually reopen domestic tourism, to once again welcome travelers from other countries when things become better.”
In its 33rd Readers’ Choice Awards, CNT invited 600,000 travelers to vote online for the Top Islands in six areas – Asia, Australia, and the South Pacific, the Caribbean and the Atlantic, Africa and the Indian Ocean, Europe, and North America.
In the balloting, Cebu and the Visayas were lumped as one entry although Boracay, which is in Western Visayas, was a separate entry. In last year’s Condé Nast ranking, Boracay was No. 1; Cebu and the Visayas were No. 2, and Palawan was No. 4.
Only Penang in Malaysia (No. 3) and Bali in Indonesia (No. 5) managed to break into the top five.
“Located in the center of the Philippines, Cebu draws millions of travelers annually for its pristine beaches and diving off the island’s northern coast. Spanish and Roman Catholic influences permeate Cebu City; Basilica Minore del Santo Niño houses a small statue of Christ that was presented by Ferdinand Magellan,” the CNT wrote in its entry on Cebu in The Best Islands in the World: 2020 Readers’ Choice Awards.
Puyat noted that with more island destinations in the Philippines gaining traction worldwide, the the DOT will sustain its advocacy for sustainable and responsible tourism practices that would help preserve these destinations.
“With over 7,641 islands in our archipelago, there are still so many left for nature-loving travelers to discover. In our journey towards tourism revival, sustainable and responsible tourism development shall continue to be one of the DOT’s core principles, just like how it has always been in the past few years,” Puyat stressed.