The islands of Boracay, the Cebu and Visayan Islands, and Palawan in the Philippines have been named the first, second and third (respectively) in its ‘Best Island in the World’ category of Condé Nast Traveler Reader’s Choice Awards 2017.
“Boracay, Cebu and Palawan are three fantastic examples of our 7,107 islands in the Philippines. These particular islands certainly showcase the perfect ‘tropical paradise’ and each island offers a slightly different travel experience. Of course, they all have jaw-dropping beaches, but there’s also amazing activities on offer, cultural heritage sites, and incredible cuisine. There is so much to be explored in the Philippines and we look forward to welcoming more travellers to our islands.” Sec. Wanda Tulfo-Teo, Secretary of Philippines Department of Tourism said.
Boracay is just under four square miles, located is the Western Philippines, consisting of stunning beaches and memorable sunsets. It’s famous for its 4km long White Beach, which is one of the island’s main draws, with powdery white sand and azure water, offering the perfect tropical paradise backdrop. For extra relaxation, travellers can indulge in a treatment at one of the many spas and wellness houses.
There’s an assortment of activities to choose from that make the most of the natural environment of the island, including 25 dive sites, windsurfing and kiteboarding, cliff diving, paddle boarding, kayaking, snorkelling, horseback riding and golf. Once the night draws near, the thriving nightlife comes to life, offering cocktails, fresh food and live music.
How to get there: Fly from Manila to Caticlan in Malay. From there, pump boats transport passengers to White Beach.
Cebu and Visayan Islands are a fusion of island life, historical sites and a metropolis. Cebu is famous for its beaches on the mainland as well as its many surrounding islands. Cebu City is influenced by Filipino, Spanish and Western cultures which are reflected in the architecture and design, whilst up-and-coming restaurants and shopping also awaits travellers.
Some of the cultural highlights include: Fort San Pedro, Basilica del Santo Nino, Magellan’s Cross, Casa Gorordo Museum, Yap-Sandiego Ancestral House, Taoist temple and many more. The surrounding islands offers travellers various diving spots and opportunities to hike and trek.
How to get there: Many airlines operate to Mactan Cebu International Airport from neighbouring countries such as Singapore. The airport is located on a different island, therefore it takes approximately 30 minutes by taxi to get to Cebu City.
Palawan is an archipelago of nearly 2,000 islands, offering guests an unforgettable holiday in paradise. Travellers can explore the various smaller islands incorporating secret lagoons and caves, snorkelling, kayaking and trekking. To the west, Palawan’s natural wonder is one of the longest underground rivers in the world, travelling five miles through a subterranean cave system.
It is an UNESCO World Heritage site, which travellers can explore and discover via guided boat tours, where they can see karsts and natural rock limestone formations. For wildlife lovers, the Calauit Game Reserve and Wildlife Sanctuary are popular, and Rasa Island and Tubbataha Reefs are known to offer some of the best diving spots in the world.
The Philippines has seen the consistent growth in tourist arrivals from the Middle East. In 2016, the Philippines received a total of 83,546 tourists from the region, growing by 9.69% over 2015. Tourist arrivals from Saudi Arabia and UAE, the two largest markets out of the region for the Philippines, reached 50,884 and 16,881 respectively.
The PDOT aims to achieve 100,000 tourists from the Middle East by the end of 2018 and proactively developing strategic partnerships with key stakeholders in the Middle East to capture a sizeable percentage of its high-yield tourist market.
For further information about the Philippines visit the Philippines Department of Tourism English and Arabic social media sites at:
Or the Philippine Department of Tourism Middle East Marketing Representative Office at:
Tel: +971 (0)4 433 5952