• Visayan Islands named 3rd top island in Asia

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    THE outpouring of support for Cebu and Bohol in the last October’s deadly quake could be due to the fact that the Visayas Island, which counts both provinces, is the third top island jfrom the survey done last month by Conde¢ Nast Traveler Magazine.

    Condé Nast Traveler, an American magazine is one of the world’s leading travel publications that is known for its independence and integrity in reviewing travel and hospitality establishments. The 2013 Readers’ Travel Awards survey was participated in by 80,000 jetsetters, who cumulatively cast over 1.3 million votes.

    The travel magazine an-nounced online the winners of the 26th Annual Readers’ Choice Awards, which rank the best cities, islands, cruise lines, airlines, hotels and resorts in the world. The Readers Choice Survey started in 1988.

    Cebu and the Visayan islands—which counts Cebu, Panay, Negros, Bohol, Leyte and Samar—got a rating of 80.4 points, making it the third island in Asia. The top 5 islands in Asia are: Bali, Indonesia (83.1 points); Koh Samui in Thailand, 82.8 points; the Visayas Island, 80.4 points; Phuket (Thailand) with 78.9 points and Lombok, Indonesia with 77.8 points.

    The magazine says that the Visayas islands “has it all, including all the shopping and restaurant needs for any traveler with the friendliest people anywhere in the world!” One reader said, “The nightlife is big here, but not as wild as Phuket. Entertainment is ‘smaller, more up-close and personal.’”

    “In all my years of traveling, Cebu is my No. 1 choice!” one survey respondent said while another one: “It is probably the best island city in the universe.”

    One reader chose Bali for its “exquisite hotels, exotic and rich culture and extraordinary food, and the sweetest people in the world.” But some readers thought Koh Samui was “almost too developed,” the island moved up to the second slot from fifth last year, with some readers saying it is a “beautiful island with fun nightlife and great restaurants, and plentiful natural foliage and beauty.”

    Phuket went down from num-ber two to number four this year, with some readers saying “it’s good for families but too chaotic and filled with many tourists.”

    Previously, Cebu was cited in the survey rankings, occupying seventh place (for five times in 2012, 2009, 2008, 2007 and 2004); three times it was ranked eighth best island in the years 2011, 2006 and 2005. But it did not land the list in 2010 since the honor was given to Luzon Islands with a rating of 75.1 points.

    In 2010, however, another international magazine, Travel + Leisure, named Cebu as the third Best Island in Asia based on a global survey of best hotels, airlines, cruises, islands and cities.

    Conde¢ Nast named Maui, Hawaii as the Top (among 25) Islands of the World with a total score of 93.9 points. The readers called Maui a “veritable paradise; a combination of tropical ambience and American comforts.”

    The Condé Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards survey through a questionnaire where readers are asked to rate using the scale of excellent, very good, good, fair and poor.

    Island candidates were rated based on activities, atmosphere/ambiance, beaches, friendliness, lodging, restaurants and scenery. Resorts were rated on activities/facilities, food/dining, location, overall design, rooms and service.

    The highest scores for Cebu and the Visayan Islands were made in “friendliness” with 88.8, “scenery” and “beaches” with 83.5. Other scores 78.5 for atmosphere; 68.3 for restaurants; 78.4 for lodging; and 79.2 for activities.

    The Philippine cities did not make it to the Top 10 Cities in Asia, which was garnered by Kyoto, Japan for being a “beautiful city full of history.”

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