Diving spot in Malapascua, Cebu. Image source: Batang Dagat FB page

Even though it is pandemic times, the Philippines once again managed to clinch the recognition as Asia’s leading beach destination and Asia’s leading dive destination at the 28th World Travel Awards (WTA).

This is the Philippines’ fifth time to win Asia’s Leading Beach Destination and the third time in a row since  2019 to win the Asia’s Leading Dive Destination award. 

The Philippines is still in the running for the following World categories of the 28th World Travel Awards:

·World’s Leading Beach Destination 2021: Philippines

·World’s Leading Dive Destination 2021:  Philippines

·World’s Leading Island Destination 2021: Siargao, Philippines

·World’s Leading Tourist Attraction 2021: Intramuros, Philippines

·World’s Leading Tourist Board 2021: Philippines, Department of Tourism

Tourism Secretary Berna Romulo-Puyat said the global recognition is a big help in promoting beach and dive attractions in the Philippines to the world stage. “We are elated that the country’s pristine beaches and mesmerizing dive spots have once again been cited as the best in Asia by the prestigious  2021 World Travel Awards. We share this recognition with our tourism stakeholders, local government units, partner agencies, and all Filipinos who have been helping us promote our country’s attractions, products, and culture,” she said.

The WTA aims to acknowledge, reward, and celebrate excellence across all sectors of the global travel and tourism industry.

“This will boost our efforts to keep the Philippines as a top-of-mind destination for foreign tourists as we await the resumption of international leisure travel to the country, consistent with our “More Fun Awaits” global campaign,” said Puyat.

Some of the country’s top beach destinations, such as Boracay in Aklan, Siargao in Surigao del Norte, and El Nido and Amanpulo in Palawan, have already opened to domestic tourists and are ready to welcome foreign tourists once international borders reopen. 

DOT has developed  many of the country’s beach destinations, as well as new and existing dive circuits, and is  constantly identifying potential destinations that may be developed for dive tourism. 

Top diving spots in the country include the Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park in Palawan, Anilao in Batangas, Malapascua and Moalboal in Cebu, Balicasag, Panglao and  Anda in Bohol, and Puerto Galera in Oriental Mindoro.

DOT also ensures that the  safety of visitors is prioritized with the  strict implementation of health protocols in destinations that have opened their doors to guests. 

Meanwhile, more than  half or about 65.53% of tourism workers in the country have already received their  Covid-19 jabs as of October 16.