Department of Tourism (DOT) Secretary Christina Garcia Frasco expressed her elation as The Philippines is recognized as Asia’s Leading Dive Destination and Asia’s Leading Beach Destination, while Intramuros reclaimed its title as Asia’s Leading Tourist Attraction at the 29th World Travel Awards (WTA) 2022 held in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam on Wednesday (September 7).
“The Philippines is a beautiful country and you (WTA) having given these awards is such an affirmation to all of our tourism stakeholders and workers who have greatly sacrificed throughout the pandemic. We look to the future with hope that through our combined efforts under the Marcos Administration that has identified tourism to become a major pillar for economic recovery that not only will we survive the pandemic but we will thrive, we will endure and we will get back stronger than ever,” said Secretary Frasco in a video message sent to the WTA organizers.
WTA awarded The Philippines for the sixth time as the Leading Beach Destination in Asia besting India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Vietnam, and at the same time, achieving the Asia’s Leading Dive Destination title for four straight years since 2019, edging Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand.
Secretary Frasco noted that the dive citation from WTA only cements the premise of the DOT in hosting of the Philippine International Dive Expo (PHIDEX) 2022, which is considered as the country’s largest platform to network and promote the dive industry. The Philippine Commission on Sports Scuba Diving (PCSSD), an attached agency of the DOT in-charge of marine sports, has recently appropriated a budget of Php9.53 million for the first time by the national government for a more intensified dive tourism promotion and development.
WTA likewise hailed Intramuros Manila as this year’s Asia’s Leading Tourist Attraction, winning over other competitors such as the Angkor Temples of Cambodia; Borobudur Temple Compounds of Indonesia; Ha Long Bay of Vietnam; Sengan-en and Shoko Shuseikan Museum of Kagoshima in Japan; Taj Mahal of India, teamLab SuperNature of Macao, Great Wall, The Forbidden City, and Terracotta Warriors, all in China; Tokyo Imperial Palace of Japan; and Victoria Peak of Hong Kong.
“We are ready to receive you in the Philippines. We look forward to your visit and I invite each and every one of you to visit our beaches, our dive sites and our tourist destinations,” Secretary Frasco added.
Secretary Frasco emphasized the significance of the WTA accolades, saying that “may this recognition remind us that all of us have a shared responsibility towards the success of the tourism industry, not only in our country, but in Asia and the world. We remain committed to purveying the Filipino brand of hospitality and to heralding the Filipino brand to the world”.
Established in 1993, the London-based WTA acknowledges excellence in the travel and tourism industry in three tiers: country, regional, and world awards across different categories and is dubbed as the “Oscars” of the travel industry.