Tourism Secretary Christina Garcia Frasco / DEPARTMENT OF TOURISM
Department of Tourism (DOT) Secretary Christina Garcia Frasco announced on Thursday, Dec. 1, 2022, that the Philippines had been named the World’s Leading Country Tourism Destination at the Uzakrota Global Travel Awards 2022 by Turkish travel organization Uzakrota.
The Philippines received 721 votes, winning by a large margin over other nominated countries.
Malaysia came in second with 523 votes, while the Dominican Republic was third with 459 votes.
This is the second win for the Philippines in the Uzakrota Global Travel Awards, having first clinched the same recognition in 2020, Frasco said.
The latest feat comes after the country also received citations for its tourist destinations from various travel organizations and United States-based online travel guides.
“As the international accolades for the Philippines continues to grow, so too the role of tourism as an engine of the Philippines’ economic growth under the administration of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., whose prioritization of tourism has brought much optimism and hope for the industry. These awards reflect the global traveling public’s vote of confidence and enthusiasm for our country, and it translates to more tourists visiting our shores as evidenced by our over two million arrivals thus far,” Secretary Frasco said in a statement.
After a two-year break due to the coronavirus disease pandemic, the Philippines reopened its doors to foreign tourists on Feb. 10, 2022.
According to the DOT, the Philippines also “picked up 13 recognitions in all categories available at Scuba Diving’s 2023 Readers’ Choice Awards by US-based Scuba Diving Magazine, including the top honors for Shore Diving.”
The country ranked second in Macro Life, Cavern / Cave and Grotto Diving, Beginners, Photography, and Best Value categories; third in Wreck Diving, Snorkeling and Health of Marine Environment; fourth in Wall Diving and Advanced; fifth in Best Overall; and ninth in the Big Animals grouping for the Pacific and Indian Ocean cluster.
The Philippines was also recently named the World’s Leading Dive Destination 2022 by the World Travel Awards.
Cebu, Frasco’s home province, also took the 19th slot in the 50 Best Places to Travel in 2023 by the US-based online travel guide Travel Lemming. Travel Lemming described Cebu as “perfect for all types of tourists” and “allows you to indulge in both thrilling experiences and waterfront relaxation.”
Another key tourism destination in the Philippines, Palawan, was cited by another US-based travel guide Fodor as one of the 40 destinations on its Go List for 2023. Fodor called Palawan “the very definition of eco-luxury” and “one of the Philippines’ most magical islands where underwater worlds meet lush jungles.”
For the Uzakrota Travel Awards 2022, billed as the global initiative to recognize and reward excellence in travel and tourism, the voting took place from Oct. 3 to 28, with the awards presented on Nov. 29.
A total of 201,967 votes were registered globally and awards were distributed in 45 categories, including for World’s Leading Travel App (GetTransfer.com with 950 votes), World’s Leading Travel Brand (Emirates Airline with 886 votes) and World’s Leading Digital Airline (Qatar Airways with 884 votes).
The World’s Leading City Tourism Destination was Istanbul, Turkey (853 votes), followed by Dubai, UAE (682) and London, UK (515).
The World’s Leading Meetings & Conference Destination was Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (803 votes), followed by Istanbul, Turkey (753), and London, UK (507). (with PR)