THE Philippines’ tourism industry has long suffered in comparison with those of some of our Asian neighbors, notably Malaysia, Thailand, and Singapore. The problem is not so much negative perception of the country as zero perception, according to the people behind the Department of Tourism’s “It’s More Fun in the Philippines” campaign.
A report on the “World’s Best Islands” published in the New York Travel + Leisure Magazine should help in easing that problem of low perception. The magazine asked its readers to evaluate island destinations around the world in its annual survey and rate them according to activities, sights, natural attractions, beaches, food, friendliness, and overall value.
The result: Palawan emerged as their choice as the World’s Best Island, with a score of 93.71. It was followed by Boracay, as the second choice, with 90.47. Cebu was sixth among the top ten, with 88.65. The other islands in the list were Ischia in Italy, third; Waiheke in New Zealand, fourth; Santorini in Greece, fifth; Maui in Hawaii, United States, seventh; Hilton Head in South Carolina, US, eighth; Kauai in Hawaii, US, ninth; and Bali, Indonesia, tenth.
The Department of Tourism was understandably elated by the report. “The Philippines’ predominance shows that discerning travelers are willing to travel great distances for the rewards of clear waters and sugary white beaches,” the magazine said.
The country’s natural attractions are only a part of the reason our country dominated the island survey. There is also good food, the diverse cultural festivities, and most of all, the friendly people of this country who have always been known to welcome visitors and strangers.
Three of our islands are in the honored list – and there are many more of them in this archipelago of 7,107 islands.
With reports such as this, we should see a steady rise in our tourism arrivals in the coming years as the world discovers them and finds that indeed it is more fun in the Philippines.