The Philippine government, through the Department of Tourism (DOT), welcomed the inclusion of Palawan, Cebu, and Boracay among the popular destinations in the 2019 Travel + Leisure’s World’s Best Awards.

“This citation by a major publication validates our efforts towards attaining a sustainable tourism industry and now, more than ever, encourages the DOT to work even harder on this advocacy, creating a tourism environment that is recognized and lauded not only today, but for the generations to come,” DOT chief Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said in a statement.

Palawan, ranked 2nd on the 15 Best Islands in the World list, while Cebu and Boracay were voted 7th and 9th, respectively, on the Top 10 Islands in Asia category of the international travel magazine.

Palawan, described by T+L writer Rebecca Ascher-Walsh as the perennially popular island on the list, is home to San Vicente that hosts the longest white sand beach in the Philippines.

San Vicente is master-planned as an integrated tourism destination project by the DOT and is envisioned as a sustainable investor’s haven that will be a catalyst for inclusive economic growth in the province.

Aside from the emerging San Vicente, hundreds of species of birds and the country’s longest subterranean river can also be found in the province.

In its past review of Palawan, T+ L hailed the island province for its “warm, convivial locals” and cuisine, which ‘a veritable melting pot of international flavors.’

In Asia, Ascher-Walsh said the Philippine islands of Cebu and Boracay remain as “longtime favorites, thanks to its top-notch reef and wreck diving, white-sand beaches, hiking trails with waterfalls, and welcoming locals.”

“We are thrilled that Palawan has improved its ranking this year and is inching closer to regaining its top spot in T+L’s World’s Best Awards. Hats off as well to Cebu and Boracay for being recognized among the best in Asia,” Romulo-Puyat said. (PNA)