Philippine Ambassador to Australia Belen F. Anota welcomed Condé Nast Traveller’s (CNT) inclusion of the Philippines among the top 10 destinations to watch in 2013.
“The inclusion of the Philippines among the top 10 destinations for 2013 is indeed welcome news. We encourage our friends from Australia and other nationalities to visit our country as it is truly more fun in the Philippines,” Ambasador Anota said, citing the Philippines tourism slogan.
Condé Nast Traveller is a leading luxury travel magazine published by London-based Condé Nast Publications Ltd.
The magazine’s January 2013 online edition listed the Philippines among the top 10 destinations for 2013, along with Brazil, Amsterdam, The Congo, the Galapagos Islands, Kashmir, the Mayan Riviera in Mexico, New Zealand, Panama and Oman.
The CNT write-up on the Philippines states that “the Philippines has around 7,000 of the most heavenly islands in the world.”
Citing Bicol and Siargao, the article mentions that the country is “becoming particularly popular among serious divers, who come for the incredible underwater life, unspoilt coral gardens with rainbow-bright fish, green sea turtles and dugongs.”
Other recommended places to visit include the Bacuit Bay and other resorts in Palawan, Pamalican Island and the capital, Manila.
The Philippine Department of Tourism recorded 3,830,723 visitor arrivals to the country for the period January to November 2012, an 8.73% increase compared to the previous year’s volume of 3,522,887 for the same months. Visitors from Australia for the same period accounted for 163,270 of arrivals.
The Bureau of Immigration also reported that many foreign tourists who visited the country in 2012 opted to stay longer or beyond their visa validity. From January to December 2012, the Bureau’s extension office processed and approved 172,055 applications for extension, 13% higher than the extensions granted in the previous year.