File image by Celeste Anna Formoso

The Philippines has been hailed as Asia’s “leading beach and dive destination” in the 27th World Travel Awards this year.

The Department of Tourism (DOT) was also declared as the leading tourist board in Asia for 2020, besting 11 other countries.

“We are truly honored and thankful for the accolades given to the Philippines at the 2020 World Travel Awards Asia. These recognitions are certainly an inspiration to the industry as we safely and gradually reopen our destinations for tourism,” Tourism Sec. Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said in a news release Tuesday.

“These would not be possible without the combined efforts from our tourism stakeholders, local government units, partner agencies, and our fellow Filipinos who have tirelessly promoted our country’s attractions, products, and culture,” she added.

This is the Philippines’ fourth time to win “Asia’s Leading Beach Destination” and the second time to win “Asia’s Leading Dive Destination”, following a number of nominations for categories since 2006.

This is also the second time for the DOT to win “Asia’s Leading Tourist Board”.

Recently, the DOT expressed its support for the gradual reopening of various tourism destinations in the country, putting health and safety as the top priority. Among the opened destinations for local tourists are Baguio, Boracay, El Nido, Ilocos Norte, and several diving sites in Batangas province wherein stringent safety protocols are in place.

Dive tourism is identified by the DOT as one of the key areas in the National Tourism Development Plan (NTDP) 2016-2022 that can positively affect industry growth in terms of increased visitor count, extended length of stay, and higher tourism revenue, among others.

Meanwhile, both the Philippines and the DOT have the following remaining nominations under the World category:

— World’s Leading Beach Destination 2020: Philippines
— World’s Leading Dive Destination 2020: Philippines
— World’s Leading Island Destination 2020: Siargao
— World’s Leading Tourist Board 2020: the Philippines, Department of Tourism
— World’s Leading Tourist Attraction 2020: Intramuros

Since 1993, the World Travel Awards has contributed to rising global tourism standards by recognizing brands and best practices from the travel, tourism, and hospitality industries in an annual series of gala ceremonies held per continent. Each year is capped off with a Grand Final Gala.



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handles the online presence of Palawan News as its social media manager. When she has free time, she travels and writes about her adventures.