The Philippines won two major awards at the 2019 World Travel Awards for Asia and Oceania held recently in Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam.

The Department of Tourism (DOT) was hailed as Asia’s Leading Tourism Board, after a significant increase in the country’s visitor arrivals has been recorded in the past year.

“We are greatly honored and thankful for this recent recognition for the Philippines at the World Travel Awards. A triumph as great as this simply could not be possible without the combined hard work from the government, industry partners, and tourism stakeholders in realizing a more upward tourism industry for the country,” Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said.

In its most recent report, the DOT indicated a 14.08 percent year-on-year increase in the country’s international inbound traffic, counting a total of 5,554,950 visitors between January and August 2019.

With this, the DOT has beaten its 11 counterparts from other countries which were also nominated for the award.

The Philippines was also recognized as Asia’s Leading Dive Destination for the first time, following a number of nominations for both Asia’s Leading Dive Destination and the World’s Leading Dive Destination award categories since 2006.

“It is also joyous news that the country’s diving scene is getting the attention it deserves. This award only adds to our motivation to promote a world-class Philippine dive tourism that is anchored on sustainability and inclusivity,” Romulo-Puyat said.

The DOT identified dive tourism as one of the key areas in the National Tourism Development Plan 2016 – 2022 that can positively affect industry growth in terms of increased visitor count, extended length of stay, and higher tourism revenue, among others.

Since 1993, the World Travel Awards recognizes brands from the travel, tourism, and hospitality industries in an annual series of gala ceremonies held per continent. The 2019 World Travel Awards for Asia and Oceania was held in Vietnam on October 12, 2019. (Ma. Teresa Montemayor, PNA)

Top photo: TOURISM AWARDS. Department of Tourism Undersecretary Arturo Boncato Jr. receives the Asia’s Leading Tourism Board and Asia’s Leading Dive Destination awards at the 2019 World Travel Awards on Saturday (Oct. 12). The DOT was hailed as Asia’s Leading Tourism Board after a significant increase in the country’s visitor arrivals has been recorded in the past year. (Photo courtesy of DOT)