Philippines cited as worldâs top dive destination, Intramuros is leading tourist attraction
Photo of Tubbataha Reefs and Fort Santiago
Jonathan Ternoy, Intramuros Administration via Department of Tourism/Released

Philippines cited as world’s top dive destination, Intramuros is leading tourist attraction

Rosette Adel ( - November 28, 2020 - 5:54pm

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines’ dive sites and famed walled city Intramuros were hailed World’s Leading Dive Destination and World’s Leading Tourist Attraction in 2020, respectively, in this year’s World Travel Awards.

The country bagged the World’s Leading Dive Destination for the second time.

It has beaten eight other dive destinations namely, Azores Islands, Bora Bora, French Polynesia, Cayman Islands, Fiji, Galapagos Islands, Great Barrier Reef, Australia, Maldives and Mexico. 

On the other hand, Intramuros won the recognition for the first time besting 15 other attractions such as Acropolis of Greece, Burj Khalifa of Dubai, the Grand Canyon National Park of USA, Mount Kilimanjaro of Tanzania, and Taj Mahal of India, among others.

The following were also nominated at the 27th edition of the World Travel Awards:

  • World’s Leading Beach Destination 2020: Philippines 
  • World’s Leading Island Destination 2020: Siargao 
  • World’s Leading Tourist Board 2020: the Philippines, Department of Tourism

Early this month, the Philippine Department of Tourism also won as Asia’s leading tourist board in the region, beating 11 other nominated countries.

The World Travel Awards, established in 1993, acknowledges rewards and celebrates excellence across all key sectors of the travel, tourism and hospitality industries.  

In a statement, Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat expressed gratitude for the new recognition given to the country.

“We are incredibly grateful for the recognitions given to the Philippines’ magnificent dive sites and the beautifully-restored heritage site of Intramuros at the 27th World Travel Awards. We will continue to promote sustainable, inclusive, and world-class tourism, especially now as we slowly reopen our attractions to more domestic tourists," she said.

The DOT earlier said dive tourism is one of the key areas “for positive industry growth, including increased visitor count, extended length of stay, and higher tourism revenue.”

Among the country’s prized dive sites include Tubbataha Reefs, Natural Park in Palawan, Apo Reef Natural Park in Mindoro, and Apo Island in Dumaguete, among others, which have become recognized worldwide for its coral reef life and variety of marine species.

Last month, Batangas opened a number of its dive sites in Anilao for recreational diving to tourists under the general community quarantine in a bid to jumpstart domestic tourism amid the pandemic. The province requires negative COVID-19 test result and other minimum health and safety travels in compliance with the national government’s policy.

Meanwhile, the Intramuros Administration earlier said it has restored the walled city with extensive renovations such as bright capiz lamps installed in monuments and trees, colorful murals and new sites, such as the dungeon and cleaned-up and fortified military structures, as a tribute to the country’s historic Hispanic period.

The IA said this reinvention continuously improved to benefit the needs of the visitors and the community.

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