TEN up and coming tourist destinations in the country were revealed on Thursday, with Calaguas Islands in Camarines Norte topping the list.
The project dubbed as the “Philippine Gems,” initiated by Isla Lipana and Co., aims to attract both domestic and foreign tourists that would hopefully encourage business investments.
Besides Calaguas Islands, also included in The Philippine Gems are Apo Island, Batanes, Biri Rock Formation, Caramoan, Danjugan, Lake Sebu, Mount Kanlaon, Panglao Island and Tubbataha Reef.
The Calaguas Islands are located in Vinzons, Cama-rines Norte.
It was chosen because of its pristine beaches—the most popular among these is the Mahabang Buhangin beach, which is made up of a long stretch of powdery white sand.
According to Alexander Cab-rera, Isla Lipana chairman and senior partner, the “project also steers awareness and appre-ciation for the country’s pres-tine and natural sites, even the underdeveloped ones.”
“In our modest way, we aim for these places to gain local and international attention, and in due course, greater economic activity,” he added.
These destinations were chosen from an initial list of 25 by the public through online voting, which was open from June 26 to September 25.
The firm started with a list of 175 destinations gathered from their employees and online travel bloggers. The list was trimmed down to 50.
The screening committee agreed on a shortlist of 25 destinations, which were opened to public online voting to determine the 10 Philippine Gems.
Cabrera said that the company will help in promoting the 10 Philippine Gems to spur economic and tourism development in the areas where these are found.
“After identifying the 10 Philippine Gems, the question is what’s next? The company will also help on the preservation of these sites,” he added.
Philippine Gems, which is part of Isla Lipana’s corporate social responsibility, aims to showcase the country’s “good side” to the world, especially the many pristine natural sceneries of the country.