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MANILA, Philippines – Mabuhay, Pilipinas! The Philippines has once again bagged the title of Asia’s Leading Dive Destination at the 2023 World Travel Awards (WTA) on Wednesday, September 6, in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.
The awards gala featured travel brands and organizations from all over Asia and Oceania.
Philippine Tourism Undersecretary Shahlimar Hofer Tamano received the award on the department’s behalf. Tourism Secretary Christina Garcia Frasco announced the win after the awarding ceremony.
“The Philippines’ fifth consecutive win as Asia’s Leading Dive Destination further affirms the unparalleled beauty and megabiodiversity of our country loved by divers and tourists all over the world,” Frasco said in a statement.
She said the win is “a testament to the Philippines’ commitment to sustainable tourism development and [the] strengthened collaboration with tourism stakeholders.”
The Department of Tourism (DOT) credits the win to its recent initiative to “[elevate] the country’s dive tourism industry.” After creating its the Dive Committee, the DOT has collaborated with their partners to host dive-centric events that encourage and promote the tourism activity.
WTA founder and president Graham Cooke ssaid of the country’s win: “I love the people…[they are] the biggest asset of the Philippines,” he said. “You add [them] to the [country’s] nature, and to the islands, and the great hospitality products you’ve got and you know you should be number one in the world.”
The Philippines has held the award for five consecutive years. This makes the country qualified to win the world title that will be awarded during the WTA grand awards night in November 2023.
The country held the title of Asia’s Leading Beach Destination in 2013, 2016, 2018, and 2020 to 2022, and even received the World’s Leading Beach Destination award in 2022. However, this year, Indonesia snagged the Asian title.
Other establishments from the Philippines received recognition during the WTA 2023 award ceremony:
- Vivere Azure (Asia’s Leading Boutique Beach Resort)
- Discovery Primea (Asia’s Leading Business Hotel)
- Okada Manila (Asia’s Leading Casino Resort)
- Atmosphere Resorts & Spa (Asia’s Leading Dive Resort)
- City of Dreams Manila (Asia’s Leading Fully Integrated Resort)
- Amanpulo (Asia’s Leading Private Island Resort)
- Ascott Makati (Asia’s Leading Serviced Apartments)
Established in 1993, the World Travel Awards recognizes and celebrates key players in the tourism sector. The organization says they are “recognized globally as the ultimate hallmark of industry excellence.” – with reports from Luna Coscolluela/Rappler.com
Luna Coscolluela is a Rappler intern.