Philippine World Travel Awards
The Philippines’ dive destinations host diverse marine creatures such as this Pgymy seahorse found in Southern Leyte. Credits to Dive Philippines.

The Philippines won two major awards for Asia’s Leading Tourism Board and Asia’s Dive Destination in the recently concluded 2019 World Travel Awards held in Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam.

The Philippines was finally recognized for its efforts in promoting the island and marine sanctuaries, earning the country the “Asia’s Leading Dive Destination” title during the World Travel Awards gala for Asia and Oceania on October 12.

The country took home the recognition for the first time after a series of nominations since 2016 for Asia’s Leading Dive Destination and the World’s
Leading Dive Destination award categories.

The Philippines’ dive tourism sector has been identified in the DOT’s National Tourism Development Plan (NTDP ) 2016 – 2022 as an industry that would positively affect the country’s international inbound traffic and tourism revenues.

“It is also joyous news that the country’s diving scene is getting the attention it deserves. This award only adds to our motivation to promote world-class Philippine dive tourism that is anchored on sustainability and inclusivity,” shared DOT Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat.

The DOT has highlighted local dive destinations in its campaign and hosted the Dive Travel Mart in 2018 and the Philippine International Dive Expo in 2019 to tap new markets.

Leading Ocean Explorer and Celebrated Naturalist Photogragrapher Laurent Ballesta and Andromede Oceanologie enjoyed scuba diving in the Philippines. Credits to Dive Philippines

The Philippines’ second award was given to the Department of Tourism (DOT) which bested 11 other countries to be hailed as “Asia’s Leading Tourism Board”.

The Department of Tourism won the recognition for its tourism programs and efforts that resulted in the significant double-digit increase in the number of foreign tourist arrivals in the Philippines in the past year,

From January to August 2019, the DOT has already recorded 5,554,950 visitors – representing a 14.08 percent increase compared to the number of tourist arrivals in the same period last year.

Tourism Secretary Puyat credited the achievement to the combined efforts of the government and its partner organizations.

“We are greatly honored and thankful for this recent recognition for the Philippines at the World Travel Awards. A triumph as great as this simply could not be possible without the combined hard work from the government, industry partners, and tourism stakeholders in realizing a more upward tourism industry for the country. This is not the DOT’s alone but for all Filipinos to celebrate,” Puyat said in a statement sent to Good News Pilipinas.

Tourism Undersecretary Arturo Boncato Jr. receives the two major awards the Philippines won as Asia’s Leading Tourism Board and Asia’s Leading Dive Destination at the 2019 World Travel Awards held in Vietnam. Credits to DOT.

The Department of Tourism has been capitalizing its partnership with different government agencies, private sectors, and organizations to achieve its goal of sustainability and inclusive economic growth.

Just in September, DOT’s sustainable tourism action plan snagged the first place in the 2019 Korea Partnership Initiative on Sustainable Tourism (KOPIST) held in Jeju and Seoul in South Korea.

Recently, the DOT launched its redesigned Philippines.travel website by making it more traveler-friendly and partnered with Globe Telecom to promote tourism through digital innovation.

The agency has also partnered with selected organizations in helping target travel destinations and local communities in the implementation of
Transforming Communities towards Resilient, Inclusive and Sustainable Tourism (TouRIST) Program. It also gives priority to farm tourism that will benefit Filipino farmers and fisherfolk.

The DOT’s effort with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources in the rehabilitation of Boracay Island has earned praises from various sectors and individuals, among them a commendation in the vlog of Facebook celebrity Nas Daily.

SEND congratulations in the comments below to the Philippines’ tourism industry for showcasing the best of the Philippines!

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