Intramuros reclaims title of Asia’s top attraction

The reconstructed main gate of Fort Santiago, a citadel built in 1571 by Spanish navigator and governor Miguel Lopez de Legaspi for the new city of Manila. The defense fortress is located in Intramuros, the walled city of Manila.

Department of Tourism (DOT) Secretary Christina Garcia Frasco expressed her joy as the Philippines is recognized as Asia’s top diving destination and Asia’s top beach destination, while Intramuros reclaims its title of Asia’s leading tourist attraction during the 29th World Travel Awards (WTA) 2022. recently in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

“The Philippines is a beautiful country and you (WTA) presenting these awards is such an affirmation for all of our tourism stakeholders and workers who have sacrificed so much throughout the pandemic. We look to the future with hope that through our combined efforts under the Marcos administration which has identified tourism as a major pillar of economic recovery, not only will we survive the pandemic, but we will thrive, endure and come back stronger than ever,” said Frasco in a video message sent to WTA organizers.

WTA hailed Intramuros Manila as Asia’s top tourist attraction this year, beating out other contenders such as the temples of Angkor in Cambodia; Borobudur temple complexes in Indonesia; Ha Long Bay in Vietnam; Sengan-en and Shoko Shuseikan Museum in Kagoshima, Japan; Taj Mahal from India, teamLab SuperNature from Macau, Great Wall, The Forbidden City and Terracotta Warriors, all in China; Tokyo Imperial Palace of Japan; and Victoria Peak from Hong Kong.

WTA awarded the Philippines for the sixth time the title of leading beach destination in Asia, ahead of India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Vietnam, and at the same time, winning the title of leading diving destination in Asia for four consecutive years since 2019, ahead of Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand.

Frasco noted that the WTA’s diving citation only cements the DOT’s premise in organizing the Philippine International Dive Expo (PHIDEX) 2022, which is considered the country’s largest platform to network and promote. the diving industry.

The Philippine Commission on Sport Scuba Diving (PCSSD), an agency attached to the DOT in charge of marine sports, recently allocated a budget of Php 9.53 million for the first time by the national government for more intensive promotion diving tourism and development.

“We are ready to receive you in the Philippines. We look forward to your visit and I invite each of you to visit our beaches, dive sites and tourist destinations,” Frasco added.

Frasco stressed the importance of the WTA accolades, saying “may this recognition remind us that we all have a shared responsibility for the success of the tourism industry, not just in our country, but in Asia and around the world. We remain committed to providing the Filipino brand of hospitality and announcing the Filipino brand to the world”.

Founded in 1993, the London-based WTA recognizes excellence in the travel and tourism industry at three levels: national, regional and global awards in various categories and is dubbed the “Oscars” of the travel industry .

Keith P. Plain