This Lesser-Known Tropical Island Is One Of The Top Trending Destinations In Asia

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Tourism in Asia is back with a vengeance now that journey is less complicated than it has been for a few years.

All of the highest vacationer hotspots, together with Indonesia’s Bali and Thailand’s Phuket, which had been just about sealed off for years, have soared in reputation as soon as extra.

With that being stated, these traditional resort locations aren’t the one ones accountable for reviving Asia’s badly broken tourism sector. There is a lesser-known tropical paradise that used to obtain far fewer guests in years previous that’s now one of many trendiest island getaways within the area.

Tourists Kayaking Through Karst Cliffs In Palawan, The Philippines, Southeast Asia

This yr, Westerners have given the attractive Palawan an opportunity, and understandably so, they already can’t get sufficient of it:

A Hidden Gem Of Southeast Asia

The Philippines is much from being essentially the most visited nation in Southeast Asia, lagging behind the likes of Thailand and its annual 15 million vacationers, the extremely developed Singapore, and Vietnam with its in depth sandy shoreline.

A Woman Relaxing As She Swims On The Ocean In Palwan, Philippines, Southeast Asia

Overall, it is just the sixth-most visited vacation spot within the subcontinent. That’s to not say it lacks magnificence, nor that it’s, in any method, inferior to its counterparts.

In reality, the Philippines will be thought-about one of many final surviving unspoiled tropical archipelagos on the earth.

Scattered in hundreds of items across the South China Sea, the archipelagic nation is just jam-packed with paradisaical islands and untouched reserves, more and more uncommon finds in mainland Southeast Asia, the place fast growth threatens to disturb the considerable nature.

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Unspecified Island In The Philippines, Southeast Asia

Other than its ‘metropolitan’ islands, reminiscent of Luzon, the place the bustling nationwide capital of Manila is positioned, or Cebu, the place the sprawling Cebu City serves as a monetary middle, different smaller islands that make up the Philippines have retained their quaint character.

One such island is Palawan, with a inhabitants of over 900,000, distributed throughout the compact capital of Puerto Princesa, the place round 300,000 reside, and smaller settlements resting both on the coast or the mountainous, verdant inland.

Why Is Palawan So Trendy Right Now?

Underground River In Puerto Princesa, Palawan, Philippines, Southeast Asia

Puerto Princesa International Airport, the primary entry level into the island, hosts solely a restricted variety of flights, principally home ones originating from throughout the Philippines, which helps hold tourism ranges beneath management and protect the island’s distinctive character.

It is, in any case, identified nationally because the Philippines’ ‘best island’, with Filipinos themselves deciding on Palawan as their ‘preferred travel destination’. According to an official survey, as many as 23% of these surveyed categorical a need to go to the island.

You could also be questioning why that’s so.

Tropical Landscape With Rock Islands, A Lonely Boat, And Crystal Clear Water In Palawan, Philippines, Southeast Asia

Palawan is finest identified for its miles on miles of unruffled sands, lapped by crystal-clear waters, exuberant marine biodiversity, and relaxed ambiance. It is someplace you go to flee the loopy visitors in Manila and the urbanization points Cebu City faces.

Compared to different Southeast Asian islands, reminiscent of Thailand’s Phuket, it’s a lot quieter and extra peaceable, with fewer ‘entertainment zones’, and a stronger deal with ecotourism and wellness, which is bound to put Palawan on the entrance of Asia’s tourism rebound.

In case you might have forgotten, wellness is among the high journey traits this year.

Palawan Is A Force Of Nature

Some of the primary points of interest in Palawan embody the capital of Puerto Princesa itself. It is traversed by a UNESCO-listed underground river and boasts some stunning colonial-era structure (should you want a little bit reminder, the Philippines was as soon as beneath Spanish rule).

Huts Along The Shoreline In Palawan, Philippines, Southeast Asia

As these have been left just about unscathed amid Southeast Asia’s battle for independence from European powers, Palawan has a excessive focus of historic church buildings, civic buildings, and monuments courting again to this era.

Its biggest asset, nonetheless, is its breathtaking nature, with lengthy miles of sandy seashores surrounding the coast and turquoise lagoons. Travelers typically describe Palawan as being ‘Avatar-like’, in reference to James Cameron’s 2009 blockbuster movie, set in a fantastical world of distinctive geological formations.

This description just isn’t too far off, as Palawan is dwelling to an in depth checklist of pure wonders. When looking for an escape into nature, guests typically head to El Nido seaside, a tranquil swimming spot bounded by the bright-blue ocean and flanked by a steep karst cliff.

Three Women Having Fun At The Beach During Sunset

Day journeys to smaller islands within the wider Palawan province are additionally a well-liked exercise.

Palawan Tourism Is On The Rise

As Palawan News stories, the Filipino vacation spot is recording a report surge in tourism this yr within the wake of the nation’s reopening for tourism and rekindled curiosity in Southeast Asia amongst foreigners, particularly these coming from the Western Hemisphere and Europe.

The partial information recorded by the Department of Tourism, or Tourism Live Inventory and Statistics of Tourist Arrivals, shortened to TOURLIST, demonstrates {that a} complete of 765,991 guests visited Palawan between January and June 2023, at a whopping 136% enhance year-on-year.

Tourists On A Beach In Palawan, Southeast Asia

Out of these, almost half are foreigners. As seen right here, worldwide guests have gotten extra quite a few, however Palawan’s seashores, boutique lodges, and wellness retreats are but to be overrun by them.

Additionally, the most well-liked location for vacationers staying in Palawan is the small city of El Nido, which attracted almost 300,000 for the primary semester, almost 4/10 of the overall arrivals.

In second place, Puerto Princesa, the regional capital, logs 269,090, adopted by Coron and its 75,756 friends, San Vincente’s 52,057, and at last, Linapacan with 16,654.

Leading the best way among the many locations in Palawan is the city of El Nido, attracting essentially the most variety of guests at 294,065, accounting for a 38.39% share of the overall vacationer arrivals within the province.

Young Female Tourist Wearing A Blue Dress And Smiling As She Walks Lao Lading Beach In Thailand, Southeast Asia

All of the locations above are well-known for his or her proximity to nature, proving but once more these vacationing in Palawan are actively looking for nature-based actions.

The World’s Most Desirable Island

Last yr, Palawan was topped the ‘Most Desirable Island’ within the Wanderlust Reader Travel Awards, as voted by the general public, in addition to named the ‘Most Preferred Destination’ throughout the Philippines by locals, in a survey carried out by PUBLiCUS Asia, Inc.

Provincial Tourism Offer Maribel Buñi is recorded stating, ‘this calls for more proactive initiatives and measures to ensure that we provide excellent service and offer quality tourism products for our visitors to have a memorable experience while they are on our island.’

Aerial View Of Cebu, Philippines, Southeast Asia

As Buñi famous, the aim just isn’t solely to extend the variety of arrivals but in addition to advertise longer stays and ‘bigger spending’.

Could we anticipate this Filipino oasis to comply with within the footsteps of Bali and launch its very personal Long-Stay Visa within the close to future?

That is but to be seen, however we absolutely wouldn’t be shocked.

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This article initially appeared on TravelOffPath.com

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