PALAWAN has reclaimed the top spot in international travel magazine Travel + Leisure’s “World’s Best Islands” list for 2020.
The world-renowned tourist destination garnered 94.83 points in the magazine’s survey, besting 24 other islands in the world.
“Though it’s difficult to reach from many parts of the world, once travelers get there they can dive in World War II wrecks, explore old-growth rain forests, and paddle one of the world’s longest subterranean rivers at Puerto Princesa,” Travel + Leisure writer Sara Clemence said in an article published on Wednesday, July 8.
Palawan previously held the top spot in 2013, 2016, and 2017.
Last year, it ranked second with a score of 90.87.
Paros and Milos islands in Greece placed second and third on this year’s list, respectively, followed by Sri Lanka and Koh Lanta island in Thailand.
Boracay, also in the Philippines, earned the 14th spot.
The survey was concluded on March 2, before countries implemented lockdowns in an attempt to contain the further spread of the coronavirus, the magazine explained.
“The results reflect our readers’ experiences before the pandemic, but we hope that this year’s honorees will inspire your trips to come — whenever they may be,” the magazine said.
The Philippine Department of Tourism celebrated Palawan’s recognition.
“Palawan reclaimed its rightful place in the World’s Best Awards. The citation as the Best Island in the World is all the more important because this is voted upon by the readers of the prominent Travel + Leisure magazine,” said Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat.
She added, “It’s wonderful to see that our rehabilitation and sustainable development efforts last year, especially in El Nido and Coron, were well-received by tourists everywhere.”
Last week, the tourism chief announced that a dry run of domestic tourism reopening in El Nido resorts would happen this month.
Palawan Gov. Jose Alvarez, meanwhile, stressed that they would prioritize local tourists before reopening the areas to foreign tourists.