For the fourth time, the Philippines has bagged the recognition as Asia’s Leading Beach Destination from the World Travel Awards. The country and the Department of Tourism (DOT) have also scored three other major recognitions at the Asian category of the 27th edition of the global tourism awards.
For the second time, the Philippine has won Asia’s Leading Dive Destination Award, following a number of nominations for categories since 2006. Also for the second time, Intramuros was declared as Asia’s Leading Tourist Attraction Award, after first earning it in 2016. DOT was also declared as the Leading Tourist Board in Asia this 2020, besting 11 nominated countries.
“We are truly honored and thankful for the accolades given to the Philippines at the 2020 World Travel Awards Asia,” said DOT Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat. “These recognitions are certainly an inspiration to the industry as we safely and gradually reopen our destinations for tourism. 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.”
DOT has previously identified dive tourism as among 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.
The Philippines still has five 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 (DOT); and World’s Leading Tourist Attraction 2020 (Intramuros).
The department has also recently backed 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, wherein strict safety protocols are observed.
The World Travel Awards has been contributing to rising global tourism standards since 1993. It recognizes brands and best practices from the travel, tourism, and hospitality industries in an annual series of gala ceremonies held per continent. Those are capped off with an annual Grand Final Gala.