Palawan, Cebu, and Boracay are among the best tourist destinations in the world according to the 2019 Travel + Leisure’s (T+L) World’s Best Awards.

Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said in a statement the “citation by a major publication validates our efforts towards attaining a sustainable tourism industry and now, more than ever, encourages the DOT (Department of Tourism) to work even harder on this advocacy, creating a tourism environment that is recognized and lauded not only today, but for the generations to come.”

She said the DOT was “thrilled that Palawan has improved its ranking this year and is inching closer to regaining its top spot in T+L’s World’s Best Awards.”

Ranked second to Sri Lanka by the travel magazine, Palawan joined the 15 Best Islands in the World list, while Cebu and Boracay got the seventh and ninth spots, respectively, in the Top 10 Islands in Asia category.

T+L writer Rebecca Ascher-Walsh said “the perennially popular Philippine island of Palawan” is “lauded for its coastlines.”

The magazine also noted that travelers to Palawan had “raved about the warm, convivial locals who celebrate Filipino culture … (and) they also loved the cuisine, which is heavy on fresh seafood and a veritable melting pot of international flavors.”

The DOT emphasized that Palawan is where one finds San Vicente, the department’s integrated tourism project that is also positioned as a sustainable investor’s sanctuary and driver of economic growth.

Ascher-Walsh also wrote that the islands of Cebu and Boracay remain “longtime favorites, thanks to  top-notch reef and wreck diving, white-sand beaches, hiking trails with waterfalls, and welcoming locals.” (Jojo Mangahis)