Boracay No. 1 on online Asia’s best beaches listBy Jocelyn R. Uy
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Summer has not officially arrived yet but the Philippines, its white-sand beaches and hidden lagoons are already getting much attention from international travel guides.
TripAdvisor, one of the world’s popular online travel guides, placed the island of Boracay at No. 1 in its Travelers’ Choice-Best Beaches in Asia for this year.
In placing Boracay’s White Beach at the top of the list, besting 24 other beaches in Asia, TripAdvisor described the 7-kilometer stretch as a “stunningly beautiful white powder sand beach [with] crystal clear, warm water that you can laze on for days on end.”
Also making it to the list of great beaches in Asia were El Nido, Palawan’s Secret Lagoon, which was placed at No. 9 and Boracay’s Yapak Beach, also known as Puka Shell Beach, at No. 10.
The scenic Secret Lagoon, located on a small island and nestled among towering limestone formations, was cited for its “wonderful view.”
Yapak Beach, a secluded area in the north of Boracay Island, was noted for the myriad of puka shells on the shore “giving one’s feet a rugged feel.”
On its website, TripAdvisor said the Travelers’ Choice Beaches Awards were based on the quality and quantity of traveler reviews and ratings for beaches it has gathered over a 12-month period since the 2012 awards.
Value for money
TripAdvisor is a popular travel website that assists customers in collecting travel information, posting reviews of their latest getaway and engaging in interactive travel forums.
The Philippines also made it to the Lonely Planet Traveller’s Choice 2013, rating it as one of the top 10 popular destinations in the categories of “meeting locals” and “value for money.”
Lonely Planet, considered the largest travel-guide book publisher in the world, placed the Philippines, which is also known for its hospitable and friendly people, at No. 6 in the top 10 popular destinations to go to for meeting locals.
The country ranked eighth in the top 10 “value-for-money” destinations. “According to [Lonely Planet] travelers, Asia provides the best value for money, with seven out of the top 10 budget favorites coming from this continent alone,” Lonely Planet said on its website.
It also said the results were based on the ratings provided by 3,000 respondents on the places they traveled to using 16 criteria, which included adventure, food, cultural sights, nature, travel memories and safety.
“We asked our fans on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Thorn Tree to tell us where they have traveled and then we asked them to rate those destinations by 16 criteria (for example, which was the “best ‘value for money’ destination),” it said.
In a statement Wednesday, Tourism Secretary Ramon Jimenez Jr. said the recent distinctions were proof that the country’s marketing efforts under the campaign “It’s More Fun in the Philippines” were generating results.
“We are so thrilled that these accolades keep coming, proof positive that our marketing efforts are paying off, and more and more satisfied travelers are proudly spreading the word about their many fun experiences in our beautiful country,” Jimenez said.
He encouraged Filipinos to take good care of the country’s “jewels” to help boost tourism and enable the Philippines attain an attractive international image.
“In order for us to continue reaping the benefits of development and great publicity, we ought to seriously address the environment challenges. We call on all stakeholders to come as one in preserving our country’s jewels,” Jimenez said.