While Filipino athletes have been winning gold medals left and right at the ongoing Southeast Asian Games, the Philippine sea (pun intended!) is making a statement of its own. The country bagged the title "World’s Leading Dive Destination" during the 26th World Travel Awards Grand Final Gala Ceremony on November 28 in Muscat, Oman.
We beat eight other nominees for the title, including: Azores Islands, Bora Bora in French Polynesia, Cayman Islands, Fiji, Galagpagos Islands, Great Barrier Reef in Australia, Maldives, and Mexico. Modesty aside, this doesn't really come as a surprise since our archipelago is located in what's called the "Coral Triangle," which is dubbed by marine experts as the "center of the center of marine biodiversity in the world."
"Our country is home to the highest concentration of coral reef life and astounding variety of marine species. This latest recognition is a validation that the Philippines is truly a premier dive destination," Tourism secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said in a statement.
The World Travel Awards was established in 1993 "to acknowledge, reward and celebrate excellence across all key sectors of the travel, tourism and hospitality industries." The Philippines, in the past, was awarded Asia's Leading Beach Destination in 2013, 2016, and 2018. For 2019, we also got Asia's Leading Dive Destination and Asia's Leading Tourist Board, while Amanpulo Resort in Palawan was recognized for being the World's Leading Dive Resort and Banwa Private Island was hailed World's Leading Luxury Private Island Resort.
For more information, visit the World Travel Awards’ website.
*This story originally appeared on Spot.ph. Minor edits have been made by the Preview.ph editors.