CEBU emerged as the “7th Best Island in Asia,” according to the recent survey of Travel + Leisure, a travel magazine based in New York, New York.
Two other islands in the country also made it to the Top 10 list—Boracay Island (9th) and Palawan (2nd), which also ranked second in the Top 15 World’s Best Islands.
Every year for the World’s Best Awards survey, Travel + Leisure asks its readers to weigh in on travel experiences around the globe—to share their opinions on the top cities, islands, cruise ships, spas, airlines and more.
Readers rated islands according to their activities and sights, natural attractions and beaches, food, friendliness and overall value.
Travel + Leisure described the islands of Cebu, Palawan and Boracay as “longtime favorites, thanks to top-notch reef and wreck diving, white-sand beaches, hiking trails with waterfalls and welcoming locals.”
The Department of Tourism (DOT) 7 welcomed the announcement on Saturday, July 13, 2019.
Shahlimar Tamano, DOT 7 director, told SunStar Cebu they would continue their efforts to boost Cebu’s tourism to both domestic and foreign travelers.
“This is both an honor and testament to the hardworking Cebuanos, our industry players, stakeholders, government workers and partners who work tirelessly to promote the island and ensure that every visitor is safe and has a pleasant experience,” he said.
Tamano said the recognition has encouraged them to collaborate with stakeholders to bring the Cebu experience to all tourists.
“Rest assured we will all continue to improve and collaborate for a better Cebu experience,” he said.
Hotel, Resort, and Restaurant Association of Cebu president Carlo Suarez said the recognition would again bring Cebu to the global scene.
“We are truly a tourist destination not only in Asia but in the rest of the world,” he said.
With this, he urged all stakeholders to work on attracting more international airlines to establish routes coming to Cebu.
“We need more international flights flying direct to Cebu,” Suarez said.
Cebu recently hosted Routes Asia 2019 with routes development plans geared to more provinces in China, Vietnam, Europe and other global destinations.
With this, foreign tourists from China, Japan, Korea, the United States and Europe, among others, are expected to flock to Cebu as more direct flights are planned to be established.
In 2018, Cebu’s tourist arrivals increased by 14.33 percent or 698,849 tourists more than those in 2017.
Data presented by the DOT 7 last February showed that Cebu’s tourist arrivals in 2018 reached 5,575,896, higher than the 4,877,047 in 2017.
Last year, there were 2,805,115 foreign tourist arrivals and 2,770,781 domestic tourist arrivals. (KOC / JOB)