(Photo from Yvette Lee/Tubbataha Reefs Natural Marine Park and World Heritage Site Facebook Page)

The Philippines was again named as Asia’s leading dive and beach destination by the 2022 World Travel Awards (WTA) in Vietnam on Sept. 7.

Intramuros also reclaimed its title as Asia’s leading tourist attraction.

Tourism Secretary Christina Frasco on Thursday welcomed the back-to-back win, saying it proves the beauty of the Philippines.

“The Philippines is a beautiful country and you (WTA) having given these awards is such an affirmation to all of our tourism stakeholders and workers who have greatly sacrificed throughout the pandemic,” she said.

“We look to the future with hope that through our combined efforts under the Marcos administration that has identified tourism to become a major pillar for economic recovery that not only will we survive the pandemic but we will thrive, we will endure and we will get back stronger than ever,” she added.

WTA awarded the Philippines for the sixth time as the leading beach destination in Asia besting India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Vietnam, and at the same time achieving Asia’s Leading Dive Destination title for four straight years since 2019, edging Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand.

Frasco said the dive citation from WTA cemented the premise of the DOT in hosting the Philippine International Dive Expo (PHIDEX) 2022, which is considered the country’s largest platform to network and promote the dive industry.

The Philippine Commission on Sports Scuba Diving, an attached agency of the DOT in charge of marine sports, has recently appropriated a budget of PHP9.53 million for the first time by the national government for more intensified dive tourism promotion and development.

Intramuros, meanwhile, won over other competitors such as the Angkor Temples of Cambodia; Borobudur Temple Compounds of Indonesia; Ha Long Bay of Vietnam; Sengan-en and Shoko Shuseikan Museum of Kagoshima in Japan; Taj Mahal of India, teamLab SuperNature of Macao, Great Wall, The Forbidden City, and Terracotta Warriors, all in China; Tokyo Imperial Palace of Japan; and Victoria Peak of Hong Kong.


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