The Philippines: a booming tourist destination in a post-Covid world
In the article “Rising Stars in Travel” by travel writer Jared Ranahan of Forbes.com, the highly respected US economic and financial news publication, the Philippines was named among seven countries (the others are Ethiopia , Iran, Myanmar, Georgia, Slovenia and Tunisia) which “have the potential to become major tourist destinations in a post-Covid world”.
Even as the global tourism industry struggles amid the unprecedented downturn from the pandemic, many countries around the world are bracing for a boom in international visitor numbers once travel becomes more feasible. These seven highly underrated countries have the ingredients to become world-class destinations and establish themselves as a leading regional force for tourism – pristine natural beauty, historic ruins and fascinating cultural experiences.
The Philippines offers unique experiences for all kinds of tourists looking for a relaxed, laid-back getaway away from the hustle and bustle of their daily lives, from sandy shores and dreamy mountain landscapes to awe-inspiring cities steeped in heritage. cultural.
Of course, the country’s No.1 tourist destination remains the 10.32 km² resort island of Boracay, famous for its 4 km long white sand beach, bordered by several world-class resorts. and hotels. On the other side of the island, from White Beach, is Bulabog Beach, a hotspot for windsurfing and kitesurfing. Awarded as the best island in the world by international travel magazine Travel + Leisure (T + L) in 2012, Boracay was also at the top of the list of “Best Islands in the World” published by the international magazine Condé Nast Traveler. In 2016, Boracay topped the magazine’s list of “10 best destinations to watch.”
In the same way, Travel + Leisure named the island province of Palawan as the best island in the world in the World’s Best Awards 2020, surpassing 24 (Galapagos Islands in Ecuador, Maui in Hawaii, Bali in Indonesia, Great Barrier Reef Islands in Australia, etc. .) others in the category of islands of the world with a score of 94.83. Boracay also reached No.14 in T + L‘s World Best Island list and was hailed 5th in Asia the same year.
Offering some of the finest white sand beaches, seaside resorts, and landscapes such as striking limestone cliffs stretching straight from the ocean, you can also dive into WWII wrecks off Coron (a piece of nature and history wrapped in one destination), explore ancient tropical forests and paddle the Puerto Princesa Underground River, one of the longest underground rivers in the world, a Unesco World Heritage Site (1999 ) and one of the new 7 wonders of nature in 2012. Last year, Condé Nast Traveler also cited El Nido Hidden Beach as one of the top 30 beaches in the world.
Speaking of diving, the Philippines was recognized, for the second time, as the world’s top diving destination at last year’s 27th World Travel Awards, surpassing other famous diving destinations such as the Azores Islands, Bora Bora, French Polynesia, Cayman Islands, Fiji, Galapagos Islands, Great Barrier Reef, Australia, Maldives and Mexico. Likewise, Intramuros in Manila, a well-preserved example of Spanish colonial architecture, was named the world’s leading tourist attraction by winning, for the first time, against the Acropolis in Greece, Burj Khalifa in Dubai, the park National Grand Canyon in the United States, Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania and Taj Mahal in India, among others.
Siargao in northern Mindanao also won the title of the best island destination in the world. The “Surf Capital of the Philippines”, its Cloud Nine, a spectacular and mighty reef, was recently ranked among the top 8 surf spots in the world by CNNGo, a CNN International travel site. It is also home to beautiful white sand beaches, naturally sculpted tidal pools, mangrove forests, coves, serene lagoons and caves.
Speaking of Spanish colonial architecture, besides having world-class dive sites, beautiful white sand beaches, and world-class resorts, Cebu and Bohol are also home to many churches, ancestral homes, and watchtowers. from the Spanish era. Although many churches in Bohol were destroyed or badly damaged in the earthquake of October 15, 2013, almost all have been rebuilt and faithfully restored. In Bohol, a visit to the Chocolate Hills, a nominated national geological monument on the Unesco World Heritage List, is a must.
North of Luzon is Vigan, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The best-preserved example of a planned colonial Spanish town and one of the few left in the country whose ancient structures have remained mostly intact, its main draw is its cobblestones, seismic baroque church and stone houses (bahay na bato) that merge the design and construction of Filipino and Oriental buildings. In May 2015, Vigan was officially recognized as one of the 7 New Wonder Cities (along with Beirut, Doha, Durban, Havana, Kuala Lumpur and La Paz).
Also north of Luzon you will find the spectacular mountainous landscapes of the Cordillera administrative region, home to the spectacular rice terraces of Ifugao, a Unesco World Heritage site inscribed in 1995; the 2,922 m (9,640 ft) Mount Pulag (the highest peak in Luzon and the third highest in the country), a climber’s delight; the popular city of Baguio, covered in clouds and pine trees, the “summer capital of the Philippines”; the powerful and swirling Chico de Kalinga River, a destination for rafting and kayaking; and Banaue and Sagada (home to the “Hanging Coffins” and Sumaging Cave), two paradises for adventurers.