Boracay, Palawan among top 10 in travel publication's Best Island Beaches in the World list

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, January 6) — Two of the country's top tourist attractions have been recognized by a travel publication ranking the best beaches across the globe.

White Beach, Boracay placed 2nd in Condé Nast Traveler's 25 Best Island Beaches in the World: Readers' Choice Awards in 2020. The annual list is part of the travel magazine's 33rd survey answered by readers.

"Boracay is a screensaver brought to life, with dazzling white sand, so-clear-you-can-see-your-toes water, and a lush jungle backdrop, available to anyone willing to make the journey," wrote Caitlan Morton of Condé Nast Traveler of the picturesque travel destination.

"The island used to fly under the radar with one of the most beautiful beaches in the world—but the secret's out," she added.

White Beach, Boracay is joined by El Nido, Palawan, which ranked 9th in the list.

"El Nido alone is home to around 50 white sand beaches—it's impossible to choose just one—all of which are set around dramatic limestone formations and have the finest and whitest sand you'll ever see," wrote the author about the tourist spot, also highlighting its "blindingly blue" waters.

"And the sunsets? Well, they'll ruin you for life. Consider yourself warned," added Morton.

The Tourism Department welcomed the inclusion of both destinations in the yearly list, noting this attests to their unparalleled beauty and uniquely diverse resources, and thanked travelers who voted for the tourist spots.

"We draw inspiration from this warm reception and solid vote of confidence from our satisfied patrons. As our destinations gradually reopen with health and safety measures in place, we will continue our conservation and protection efforts of these areas,” said Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat in a statement Wednesday.

The agency reminded that both Boracay and El Nido have opened their doors to local tourists hailing from areas under general community quarantine (GCQ) and modified GCQ, coupled with health and safety protocols in place.

In December last year, the Tourism Promotions Board, an attached agency of the DOT, announced a 50-percent subsidy for reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) tests for Filipinos and foreigners "with leisure tourism as the purpose of domestic travel, and with confirmed transportation and accommodation bookings."

Their travel destinations of choice must only be those declared open to domestic tourists, the board added.

The pandemic has crippled the tourism industry since its onset last year, affecting around 5.7 million workers according to DOT data and also losing billions of pesos in earnings.

Apart from Boracay and El Nido, the government already approved the re-opening of certain tourist destinations like Bohol, Baguio, Ilocos Norte and Metro Manila.