Cebu and Visayas Islands have been named Top Island in Asia, leading three other Philippine islands in the top ten of the Conde Naste Traveler’s (CNT) 2020 Readers’ Choice Awards.
Palawan, Siargao, and Boracay also made it to the top 10 in Asia list, ranking fourth, fifth, and sixth, respectively, to give the Philippines the most slots in the ranking of the prestigious international travel magazine.
“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,” Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo Puyat said of the latest awards.
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 its 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 Conde Naste ranking, the Philippine islands took three places among the top islands in Asia. Boracay was No. 1; Cebu and Visayas was 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.
With more island destinations in the Philippines gaining traction worldwide, Puyat said the challenge for the DOT is to continue advocating sustainable and responsible tourism practices that will 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,” she said.