Tourism spike seen as Siargao named Asia’s best island
BUTUAN CITY — Tourist arrivals on Siargao Island in Surigao del Norte province is expected to increase after it was named the best island in Asia by a luxury travel publication.
Condé Nast (CN) Traveler said Siargao emerged the top choice of its readers in Asia in the 2018 Readers’ Choice Awards. The survey asked readers to rank the 30 best islands in the world outside the United States.
It said the survey covered far-flung “stunners” in Southeast Asia to volcanic outcrops in the Mediterranean.
This year, CN Traveler, which revealed the results on Oct. 9, broke down the top islands in the world by region.
The published survey also referred to surfers as the “vanguard” of travelers, scoping out some of the more remote parts of the world for surf breaks before others get there.
“Siargao, the teardrop-shaped Philippine island home to more than 15 separate surf breaks, including the legendary Cloud 9, which counts surfing superstar Kelly Slater and Red Hot Chili Peppers’ Anthony Kiedis among its fans, has been popular for a few years, but our readers, an adventurous sort, have caught on. There’s enough white sand to go around,” said CN Traveler.
Ana Nuguid, Department of Tourism (DOT) regional director in Caraga, said the recognition would help push interest among local and foreign tourists to visit the island.
“What Siargao garnered is a huge help in promoting the island destination to the rest of the world,” she said.
“We are still promoting it to other countries and we want to promote it globally, not only in the Philippines. Having [been] named the best island in Asia by one of the top travel publications is a great promotional booster for our regional tourism industry,” Nuguid said.
The DOT recorded 163,245 domestic and foreign visitors in Siargao from January to June this year, an increase of 24.54 percent from 131,079 visitors in the same period last year.
“The sudden… increase in tourist arrivals [this year] is just the beginning,” Nuguid said. “This is an indication of a trend that more will come in the next few months [and will continue] well into 2019.” —ERWIN M. MASCARIÑAS
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