Travelers from all over the region have chosen Boracay Island and Palawan province in the Philippines as two of the best holiday destinations in Asia this year, according to a Web poll by online travel magazine Smart Travel Asia.
The 2008 online poll showed Boracay and Palawan ranking seventh and eighth respectively in the top 10 holiday destinations in Asia. Palawan shared eighth place with Chiang Mai, Thailand. Both Philippine destinations were jointly ranked seventh in the 2007 Smart Travel Asia poll.
Boracay is famous for its white sand beaches, which make it a popular tourist spot in the country. On the other hand, Palawan is rated by National Geographic Traveler magazine as the best island destination in East and Southeast Asia region in 2007, and the 13th best island in the world having “incredibly beautiful natural seascapes and landscapes.” Some of the most famous tourist spots in Palawan are the Calauit Game Preserve and Wildlife Sanctuary, Coron Bay in Busuanga and the El Nido Marine Reserve Park.
The otherworldy Bali, Indonesia was chosen Asia’s top holiday destination in the Smart Travel Asia poll for the third straight year followed by Phuket, Thailand; Kerala, India; the island republic of Maldives; shopping mecca Hong Kong and Bangkok, Thailand. Angkor, Cambodia ranked ninth place while Koh Samui, Thailand and Rajasthan, India both shared tenth place.
Smart Travel Asia said the poll results revealed the continued dominance of Thailand as a “holiday brand” with four destinations in the Top Ten, and the strong emergence of India.
The same poll also showed El Nido Resort Lagen Island in Palawan ranking among the top 25 leisure hotels and resorts in Asia this year.
According to Smart Travel Asia, the poll results reflect the online voters’ “substantial hands-on travel experience, word-of-mouth at dinnertime chats, as well as an idea of the brand drawn from advertising and editorial exposure in the media, which is mostly online.” Smart Travel Asia is the region’s only dedicated online travel magazine with over one million readers worldwide.
Vijay Verghese, Smart Travel Asia editor, said voters in the annual travel poll took an average 15.5 annual air trips and earned $175,162 with roughly 60 percent based in Asia, 20 percent in UK/Europe and 20 percent in the United States. – David Dizon, abs-cbnNEWS.com