It's more fun in Boracay, with or without DOT campaign
Placing the world-famous Boracay Island in Aklan among the top beach destinations in Asia, a popular travel website seems to agree that it is, as the latest tourism campaign says, more fun in the Philippines.
Described by the Department of Tourism as "paradise for certified sun-worshippers all over the world," Boracay is listed by online travel guide TripAdvisor as first in its Top 10 Beaches in Asia.
Malacañang says the honor shows the government's efforts to boost tourism are working.
“In (the) furtherance of our (tourism) campaign through the ‘It’s more fun in the Philippines’ (program), just to share some good news with you, the travel website TripAdvisor has ranked Boracay as the number one beach destination in Asia and second in the world,” Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte said in an interview on government-run dzRB radio on Sunday, February 6.
But it seems that travelers agreed with the campaign even before it was launched.
TripAdvisor's list, which is based on reviews submitted by travelers, was published in 2011, before the DOT's campaign was launched early this year.
TripAdvisor says that despite being small, the island offers many excellent beaches to choose from.
"Yapak Beach is known for beautiful white shells; White Beach has picture-perfect sunsets; and Balinghai Beach is a secluded spot, perfect for honeymooners. As long as you visit during dry season, you'll agree this is one of the best beach destinations in the world," says the description in the website's Travelers' Choice 2011 guide.
Early last year, President Benigno Aquino III said Boracay has the potential to become the leading tourist destination in the Visayas Region.
"Noon pa man, tangan na ng Boracay ang potensyal na maging pangunahing tourist destination sa rehiyon ng Visayas dahil sa bukod-tangi nitong likas-yaman, world-class na mga resort, at siyempre, ang tanyag na mainit na pagtanggap mula sa mga Pilipino, na siya namang nagdudulot ng ngiti at galak sa bawat bisita," said Aquino in his speech at the inauguration of the newly renovated Caticlan Airport last June.
The President noted that every year, the airport serves around 100,000 tourists visiting Boracay.
But it seems Boracay's fans are mostly foreigners, as a 2010 survey conducted by the National Statistics Office and the DOT shows that Boracay is not among the Filipino tourist's most favorite places to visit.
The 2010 Household Survey on Domestic visitors reported that the National Capital Region (NCR) was the most frequently visited place, with 7.1 million domestic visitors.
Capiz, which is the province nearest Boracay, had only 236,000 domestic tourists passing through it and was ranked 20th. –KG, GMA News
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