"Palawan Voted World's Best Island" for 2017

The tropical paradise of Palawan in the Philippines was once again voted the “world’s best island” by readers of Travel + Leisure magazine.

Palawan ranked first in Travel + Leisure’s World Best Island list for 2017, which is based on readers’ ratings, getting a score of 93.15. 

It landed the No. 1 spot last year and in 2013.

“There’s nothing quite like immersing yourself in the natural wonders of this Philippine archipelago, which many of our readers described as ‘rustic,’ ‘romantic,’ ‘affordable’ and ‘relaxing.’ As one fan succinctly wrote, ‘it’s the single most beautiful place on earth,’” Travel + Leisure writer Rebecca Ascher-Walsh said in an article published on Tuesday, referring to Palawan.

Here’s the complete list:

1. Palawan, Philippines (93.15)
2. Hilton Head Island, South Carolina (90.83)
3. Boracay, Philippines (89.67)
4. Galapagos Islands, Ecuador (89.20)
5. Santorini, Greece (89.19)
6. Maui, Hawaii (89.17)
7. Kauai, Hawaii (88.72)
8. Ischia, Italy (88.53)
9. Hvar and the Dalmatian Islands, Croatia (87.75)
10. Bali, Indonesia (87.61)

DOT on poor tourism security rank: PH becoming safe with martial law

By: Anthony Q. Esguerra - Social Media Specialist / @AEsguerraINQINQUIRER.net / 07:40 PM June 19, 2017
The Department of Tourism (DOT) has shrugged off the country’s poor tourism security ranking, saying that martial law in Mindanao has started to make the nation safer.

A report by World Economic Forum (WEF) showed that safety and security issues have dragged the country’s travel competitiveness ranking.

In the 2017 Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Index, the Philippines slid five places to 79th spot out of 136 countries. The country got an overall score of 3.6, and of the 14 pillars considered, it was on safety and security that the Philippines got its lowest rank. The Philippines landed at the 126th place, the bottom end of the spectrum.

Asked for his reaction on the 2017 Travel and Tourism Competitiveness report, Tourism Assistant Secretary Ricky Alegre said the DOT was optimistic that the ranking would improve.

“Well, as you know, with martial law it’s becoming safe,” Alegre told reporters last Thursday. “We’re all struggling to make sure that it becomes even safer and right now we’re seeing that we’re meeting those expectation.”

Last week, Alegre called for a news conference to announce the DOT’s decision to split with McCann Worldgroup Philippines over the “unoriginal” “Experience the Philippines” tourism commercial.

“I’m sure we will go up in the next ranking,” Alegre added.

President Rodrigo Duterte declared martial law over the whole of Mindanao after Islamic State-inspired terror group Maute laid siege to Marawi City in Lanao del Sur last May 23.

The Marawi siege has resulted in the death of hundreds and the evacuation of thousands of people.

Last week, the Supreme Court tackled petitions against the declaration of martial law in Mindanao, which is only valid for 60 days.

Malacañang also downplayed the WEF report, citing an increase in tourist arrival in the during the first quarter of 2017.

READ: Palace downplays tourism report on PH as 11th most dangerous country
“Well, you know, contrary to the WEF report, tourism businesses are exposed to security risks. In spite of that, foreign tourists continue to increase steadily,” Undersecretary Ernesto Abella, presidential spokesperson, said in a Palace briefing last Thursday.

“We should be looking up, you know,” he said. “Wee don’t really focus on critics. We focus on actual work and processes. And there really is an increase, it’s quite positive.” –With reports from Bernadette Nicolas and Nestor Corrales /atm

Read more: http://business.inquirer.net/231662/dot-on-poor-tourism-security-rank-ph-becoming-safe-with-martial-law#ixzz4m0P7neop 
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DOT: Tourism slogan still ‘It’s more fun in the Philippines’

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Tourism has clarified that the country will still use the “It’s More Fun in the Philippines” slogan.

“Wala pong katotohanan na papalitan po namin ang ‘It's more fun in the Philippines,’” Tourism Undersecretary for Advocacy and Public Affairs Katherine De Castro said Sunday.

“It’s just that meron kaming naisip together with our ad agency na kumbaga bagayin yung ipapalabas naming bagong commercial,” she added.

De Castro was reacting to criticisms received after the DOT unveiled the “Experience Philippines” campaign video to the media last Wednesday.

The tourism official said that with all the bad news about the Philippines, she felt the need for another slogan that would encourage tourists to experience the country for themselves.

The “It’s More Fun in the Philippines” campaign was launched by the DOT and BBDO Guerrero, one of the country’s most awarded advertising firms, in 2012.

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“Gusto natin ihikayat ang mga banyaga na kahit anuman yung naririnig nila sa Pilipinas why don’t they come to the Philippines to experience it for themselves kung ano ngayon ang Pilipinas and how it is to be with Filipinos,” De Castro explained.

On Monday, the minute-long tourism campaign video was unveiled to the public.

Tourism chief Wanda Corazon Teo said the ad goes beyond featuring the country’s top destinations but more importantly, it encourages tourist to experience the Philippines themselves to know how it is to be a Filipino.

“We are shifting our focus in our promotional campaigns towards the unique experiences that each destinations could offer, Filipino hospitality, and security,” Teo said in a release.

The campaign video was based on the experience of Japanese retiree M. Uchimura. It featured tourist destinations such as the Hundred Islands of Pangasinan, Banaue Rice Terrace, Paoay Sand Dunes and Calle Crisologo in Vigan, Ilocos Sur.

The newest campaign is second of a series of advertisements that the DOT will release in the coming months and will be shown on international television channels and roadshows of the department. It also has a 30-second version.