CEBU, Philippines – The islands of Camotes and Malapascua emerged as the two most popular islands in Cebu in the last few months, prompting tourism stakeholders to predict more vibrant tourism business in these two destinations.
Alice Queblatin, vice president of travel and tours for Tourism Congress said that these islands are strongly gaining prominence among tourists across social status around the world, after Cebu made its name as the fifth best islands in the world, according to the 2016 Readers’ Choice Awards of the international Conde Nast Traveler in October last year.
Fortunately, Queblatin said access to transportation has improved in Camotes in the last few months, encouraging more tourists to explore the yet to be commercialized destination.Conde Nast described Cebu as “not as wild as Phuket in Thailand,” but “is more personal, with plenty of up-and-coming restaurants and shopping.” The international traveler’s magazine said Cebu “is famous for its beaches on the mainland as well as across many of the surrounding islands.”
In 2015, Cebu ranked 19th in the list, Boracay at 15th, and Palawan as first. The international magazine described Boracay “as close to a tropical idyll as you’ll find in Southeast Asia, with gentle coastlines and transporting sunsets.”
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It attributed the White Beach “with powdery white sand and shallow azure water ideal for swimming and snorkelling” as Boracay’s main draw to attract tourists, making it as one of the country’s top tourist destinations. It described Palawan island as the “home to one of the new seven natural wonders of the world, Puerto Princesa Subterranean River.”
Initially, Malapascua considered as the “darling” of divers around the world, but now the island is also taking attention from other group of tourists, not just the divers or backpackers.
Both Camotes and Malapascua, according to Queblatin also are now improving in terms of facilities and accommodation, including access to transportation.
Starting this year, Queblatin sees good opportunity for these islands to increase its tourism industry, thereby helping residents to take advantage of the opportunity to make money out of tourism.
While the southern stretch of Cebu province has already been established for its tourism advantage, the prominence of Camotes and Malapascua to international travelers could reinforce the promotion of northern Cebu as another interesting tourism site in the province, added Queblatin.