The Philippines was again named Asia’s leading dive and beach destination in the 2022 World Travel Awards (WTA) in Vietnam on Sept. 7, and Intramuros reclaimed its title as the continent’s leading tourist attraction.
Tourism Secretary Christina Frasco on Thursday welcomed the twin victories saying it proves the beauty of the Philippines.
“The Philippines is a beautiful country and you (WTA) having given these awards is such an affirmation to all of our tourism stakeholders and workers who have greatly sacrificed throughout the pandemic,” she said.
“We look to the future with hope that through our combined efforts under the Marcos administration that has identified tourism to become a major pillar for economic recovery that not only will we survive the (COVID-19) pandemic but we will thrive, we will endure and we will get back stronger than ever,” she added.
WTA awarded the Philippines for the sixth time as the leading beach destination in Asia, besting India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Vietnam.
At the same time, the Philippines achieved Asia’s Leading Dive Destination title for the fourth straight year since 2019, edging Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand.
Frasco said the dive citation from WTA cemented the DOT’s premise in hosting the Philippine International Dive Expo (PHIDEX) 2022, considered the country’s largest platform to network and promote the local dive industry.
The Philippine Commission on Sports Scuba Diving, an attached agency of the DOT in charge of marine sports, has recently received a budget of P9.53 million for the first time by the national government for more intensified dive tourism promotion and development.
Intramuros, meanwhile, won over other competitors such as the Angkor Temples of Cambodia; Borobudur Temple Compounds of Indonesia; Ha Long Bay of Vietnam; Sengan-en and Shoko Shuseikan Museum of Kagoshima in Japan; Taj Mahal of India; teamLab SuperNature of Macao, the Great Wall, The Forbidden City, and Terracotta Warriors, all in China; the Tokyo Imperial Palace of Japan; and Victoria Peak of Hong Kong.
Frasco said the Philippines is ready to receive tourists while the DOT continues to promote the “Filipino brand” of hospitality.
“We are ready to receive you in the Philippines. We look forward to your visit and I invite every one of you to visit our beaches, our dive sites, and our tourist destinations,” she said.