THE Department of Tourism (DOT) has lauded the results of a survey by a travel magazine that adjudged Palawan as the “world’s best island” in 2017.
“We are truly proud of our country’s last frontier for the accolades gained and we enjoin the community, industry and local government leaders to continue preserving this valuable travel jewel for our future guardians and visitors to enjoy,” Tourism Secretary Wanda Teo said on Wednesday.
This is the second straight year that Palawan was ranked first in Travel + Leisure’s World Best Island list based on readers’ ratings and the third time that it was ranked No. 1, the first being in 2013.
With a score of 93.15, Palawan bested other destinations like Hilton Head Island in South Carolina, which ranked second (90.83); Boracay, third (89.67); Galapagos Islands in Ecuadior, fourth (89.20); and Santorini in Greece, fifth (89.19).
The Top 10:
1. Palawan, Philippines (93.15)
2. Hilton Head Island, South Carolina (90.83)
3. Boracay, Philippines (89.67)
4. Galapagos Islands, Ecuador (89.20)
5. Santorini, Greece (89.19)
6. Maui, Hawaii (89.17)
7. Kauai, Hawaii (88.72)
8. Ischia, Italy (88.53)
9. Hvar and the Dalmatian Islands, Croatia (87.75)
10. Bali, Indonesia (87.61
Palawan was cited for its “unspoiled, sugar-white beaches”; its world-class scuba diving sites where divers were treated to fish-filled reefs in Bacuit Bay to World War II shipwrecks; and for the Puerto Princesa Underground River, one of the world’s longest subterranean rivers, and a Unesco-inscribed World Heritage site.
The “dramatic” limestone formations rising from the turquoise waters of El Nido; the “warm and friendly” locals; the 600 species of birds that make the province a popular destination for bird-watchers; and the “delicious” food highlighted by a variety of seafood and melting pot of Filipino cuisine that blends Indian, Spanish, Chinese and Malay influences were also cited as the province’s attractions.
The Travel+Leisure World’s Best Awards is considered one of the leading barometers of travel destinations. It will host a ceremony in New York City on July 26 (July 27 in Manila) for the 2017 winners. RADDEE SAUSA