THE Philippines was recognized for the second time as the world’s leading dive destination while Intramuros was named as the world’s leading tourist attraction during the 27th World Travel Awards, the Department of Tourism (DOT) announced Saturday, November 28, 2020.
The Philippines bested other famous dive destinations, namely, Azores Islands, Bora Bora, French Polynesia, Cayman Islands, Fiji, Galapagos Islands, Great Barrier Reef, Australia, Maldives and Mexico.
Intramuros, on the other hand, won for the first time against Acropolis in Greece, Burj Khalifa in Dubai, Grand Canyon National Park in the United States, Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania and Taj Mahal in India, among others.
“We are incredibly grateful for the recognitions given to the Philippines’ magnificent dive sites and the beautifully restored heritage site of Intramuros at the 27th World Travel Awards,” Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said in a statement.
“We will continue to promote sustainable, inclusive, and world-class tourism, especially now as we slowly reopen our attractions to more domestic tourists," she added.
The DOT lists the following as the top dive destinations in the country: Puerto Galera in Oriental Mindoro; Anilao, Batangas; Cabilao Island, Bohol; Balicasag Island, Bohol; Apo Island, Negros Oriental; Malapascua Island, Cebu; Tubbataha Reefs National Park, Palawan; Sarangani Bay; and Hilutungan, Nalusuan and Talima Islands in Cebu.
The World Travel Awards recognizes excellence in the travel, tourism and hospitality industries.
The awarding ceremony was held online on November 27 in Moscow, Russia following the yearly grand tour. This year, the grand tour featured regional gala ceremonies in the Caribbean (Bahamas), Europe (Antalya, Turkey), Africa and Indian Ocean (Nairobi, Kenya), Latin America (Santiago, Chile), North America (Thompson Okanagan, British Columbia, Canada), Asia and Oceania (Seoul, South Korea), and Middle East (Dubai).
The regional winners then competed in in the corresponding world categories. (Marites Villamor-Ilano / SunStar Philippines)