Four Philippine islands have been voted as the world’s friendliest by readers of the New York-based magazine Travel + Leisure.
The tourist-famous Palawan was hailed as the friendliest island in the world, followed by Cebu (2nd), Luzon (3rd), and Boracay (4th).
“While the politics of the nation have grown ever-more volatile, the people of the islands remain friendly to visitors exploring their scenic home. For many travelers, it’s especially helpful that English is one of the official languages of the Philippines, and that islanders are so welcoming of tourists,” wrote Jess McHugh in an article on the magazine’s website.
“In our annual World’s Best Awards survey, Travel + Leisure asks people to score travel experiences across the globe, evaluating everything from cruise lines and airports to resorts, cities, and hotels. When it came to islands, readers scored the best according to characteristics like romantic charm and the friendliness of the people,” McHugh added.
The four Philippine destinations bested other islands in the world, including Waiheke in New Zealand (5th), Ischia in Italy (6th), Tasmania in Australia (7th), Fiji Islands (8th), Bali in Indonesia (9th), the Great Barrier Reef Islands (10th), Moorea (11th), Paros in Greece (12th), Bora Bora (13th), Exhumas in Bahamas (14th), and Caye Caulker in Belize (15th).
A Travel + Leisure reader described the people of Palawan as “very welcoming, respectful, and friendly.”
“The island’s green-and-turquoise lagoons have long put it on the bucket lists of travelers around the world, and this year it is also the world’s most convivial island destination,” the magazine said.
It said Cebu’s greatest qualities are its “helpful locals,” while it described Luzon as “extremely diverse” and a “dynamic destination for travelers seeking a rich cultural experience.”
“Settle in at a spa or go diving for shipwrecks at this small island, which is just as beloved for its welcoming people as it is for its undeniable beauty,” the magazine said of Boracay. CBB