Tourists are seen at a snorkeling spot in Coron, Palawan in this file photo. Palawan has been cited several times by travel magazines and websites for its rich biodiversity, clear lagoons, long stretches of white sand and other natural attractions.
Fernan Nebres
Palawan makes Lonely Planet’s best places to visit
Robertzon Ramirez (The Philippine Star) - July 6, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Travel website Lonely Planet has released its Best in Asia Pacific list for 2019 and, no surprise, a Philippine destination is among the top 10.

This year’s list-topper is Margaret River and Southern WA in Australia. According to the site, highlights for any traveler to these parts include views of the ocean “the hue of a Bombay Sapphire bottle.” Lonely Planet goes on to add “wineries, breweries and restaurants,” which “lie between tracts of tall-tree forest and kangaroo-dotted farmland.”

Down some spots on the list at number eight is the Philippines’ Palawan. Highlights that Lonely Planet included are the “crown jewel… El Nido, where skyscraping karst formations rise out of blue water in Bacuit Bay.” Other places mentioned are the big lagoon at Miniloc Island, backpacker favorite Port Barton and San Vicente with its brand new airport.

Other places on the 2019 list are Shikoku in Japan, Bay of Islands and Northland in New Zealand, Singapore, the Cook Islands, Central Vietnam, Fiji, Beijing in China and Cambodia.

Tourism on the rise

The country’s tourist arrivals increased by 8.5 percent, or a total of 2,867,551 from January to April this year, according to Department of Tourism (DOT). This was higher than the 2,641,241 in the same period in 2018. 

In another report, the DOT said that 2,790,303 travelers have visited the Philippines through the airports in Manila, Cebu, Kalibo, Clark, Palawan, Davao, Bohol and Iloilo, which is 11 percent higher than the 2,521,087 tourist arrivals in the same period last year. 

The DOT, however, said that the tourist arrivals in the Philippines through seaports in Manila, Subic, Palawan, Batangas, Davao, Pangasinan, Cebu Zamboanga, Bohol (Tagbilaran), Romblon, Boracy, Leyte and Laoag have decreased by 36 percent, or 77,248 in 2019 from 120,154 last year. 

The DOT’s data were taken from the arrival and departure cards in different sea and airports in Manila.

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