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Palawan included in Travel & Leisure’s top 5 islands in Asia. DOT launches ‘More Fun Awaits’ campaign

By PhilSTAR L!fe Published Sep 20, 2021 2:09 pm

Palawan—the Philippines’ top island with its stunning limestone cliffs, seascapes, diverse marine life, and World War II shipwrecks for diving—has done it again.

The Department of Tourism (DOT) recently announced the inclusion of Palawan in “The Top 5 Islands in the Asia” in this year’s World’s Best Awards survey by the prestigious Travel + Leisure (T+L) magazine.

The magazine ranked Palawan as the 5th top island in Asia with a rating of 88.63, joining Andaman Islands in India, Koh Samui in Thailand, Bali in Indonesia, and Maldives.

“The award accorded to Palawan speaks for the country’s tourism destinations, still being on top of mind of travelers.  The Philippines’ natural wonders, coupled with the world-renowned Filipino hospitality, make destinations like Palawan truly one of the best, not just in the region, but in the world,” Tourism Secretary Berna Romulo-Puyat said.

Palawan also placed 19th on the top islands in World category of the same survey. It also recommended the island for unrivaled diving together with Thailand's Koh Samui.

El Nido, Palawan

T+L added,  “When they arrive, guests find mountains as well as white sand beaches washed by the Sula and South China seas. Resorts range from eco-chic stays to the spectacular Amanpulo resort, accessible only by private plane.”

‘More fun awaits’

The DOT also launched last week its More Fun Awaits campaign to strengthen the Philippines’ positioning as a top-of-mind tourist destination in the global market once international leisure travel to the country resumes.  

The campaign is focused on exciting destinations to visit, starting with those that are open to local tourists. It also includes new products and circuits that have been developed by the DOT, in coordination with private sector tourism stakeholders and various local government units (LGUs), based on travelers' preferences in the new normal. 

Aside from the sun and beach tourist destinations the country is well-known for, the campaign puts a spotlight on new and enhanced bike tours, dive circuits, farm and food tourism circuits, hiking and trekking, and outdoor museums through historical and cultural tours, among others. These cater to tourists’ new normal preference for outdoor activities and well-ventilated areas. 

“The More Fun Awaits campaign will sustain the presence of the Philippines as a tourist destination amid the pandemic, while getting foreign travelers excited for what’s in-store for them once borders for tourism reopen,” Puyat said. 

It will also feature a crowd-sourced campaign that invites Filipinos to become tour guides of their hometown, either by posting their own virtual tours on social media, or sharing their own photos of their recommended destinations, activities, or dishes. Posts must include the hashtag #MoreFunAwaits and those selected will be shared in the social media pages of the DOT.   

View from the peak of Mt. Apo in Davao. Photo by Aya Lowe/DOT

“Travel is more than just a personal experience. The heart of tourism are the workers and the communities who make the experience possible,” said Puyat. 

The inoculation of tourism workers is ongoing in different parts of the country, especially in major tourism areas including the National Capital Region where 99% of tourism workers in DOT-accredited hotels and accommodation establishments, as well as 94% of tourism workers in accredited restaurants have had their anti-COVID jabs.  Nationwide, 51% of tourism workers have already been vaccinated. 

Visit www.morefunawaits.com, a new website by the DOT that contains videos of breathtaking sceneries around the country, travel articles, and infographics to entice tourists to consider the Philippines as their next travel destination in Asia once travel restrictions have been lifted.