Palawan, Cebu, Luzon and Boracay islands in the Philippines have claimed the top 4 spots of The World's Friendliest Islands, in a traveler survey conducted by Travel + Leisure magazine.
The World’s Best Awards scored the Philippine islands for having the top characteristics of “romantic charm and friendliness of the people.”
“Travelers looking for a serene getaway often take to an island, seeking the solace of sun, sand, and sea. With views like these, it's hard not to be happy,” wrote T+L writer Jess McHugh of the Top 15 World’s Friendliest Islands.
Here are the rankings:
No. 1 Palawan
Palawan’s island residents are recognized as The World’s Friendliest, adding to the overall natural beauty which placed the country’s largest province in the No.1 spot of The World’s Best Island list 2016 of Travel + Leisure.
“People are very welcoming, respectful, and friendly," McHugh quotes a T+L reader thrilled at their Palawan experience.
“The island's green-and- turquoise lagoons have long put it on the bucket lists of travelers around the world, and this year it is also the world's most convivial island destination,” cites the list about the No. 1 ranking island.
No. 2 Cebu
The World’s Best Awards ranked Cebu in the Visayas in the second spot, noting its romantic charm.
“Cebu is a former Spanish colony, and people still travel to see the remaining architecture, Of course, the helpful locals are one of the island's greatest qualities.”
Cebu has also been recognized worldwide for its beaches, restaurants and shopping.
No. 3 Luzon
Luzon, the largest island of the Philippines where one can find a myriad of offerings to travelers from Spanish colonial architecture of Intramuros and Vigan, man-made wonders such as the Banawe Rice Terraces, to the natural beauty of majestic Mt. Mayon, is ranked third.
Luzon is acknowledged by T+L readers as being “home both to coral reefs as well as the capital of the country, Manila. The island is also extremely diverse, making it a dynamic destination for travelers seeking a rich cultural experience.”
No. 4 Boracay
The world-renowned white sand beaches and tourist haven nightlife of Boracay in the Visayas takes the 4th spot in the list.
T+L encourages travelers to “settle in at a spa or go diving for shipwrecks at this small island, which is just as beloved for its welcoming people as it is for its undeniable beauty.”
Boracay recently regained its top spot as the Best Island in the World in another traveler poll.
The Philippines’ domination of this year’s list was credited by T+L to the fact that “While the politics of the nation have grown ever-more volatile, the people of the islands remain friendly to visitors exploring their scenic home.”
The T+L’s definitive guide to the friendliest islands on Earth cites the Philippines for being top destinations for travelers in need of hospitable and personable island retreat with local residents speaking the English language and presenting a welcoming attitude to tourists.