Cebu is 4th best island in Asia for 2009

CEBU, Philippines — Cebu ranked no. 4 among Asian island destinations, according to Travel + Leisure magazine, which recently rleased the results of its World’s Best Awards 2009, a listing of the best hotels, airlines, cruises in islands and cities all over the world.
No other Philippine city, island, resort, hotel, or airline made it to the listing in other categories.
The awards are based on the American magazine’s 14th Readers’ Poll survey conducted from mid-January to the end of March this year.
“An unprecedented number of new names and places made their debuts on this year’s list, sometimes unseating longtime favorites,” says Travel + Leisure editor in chief Nancy Novogrod.
Cebu got a rating of 79.68 points.
It ranked behind Bali (87.41), Maldives (84.43), and Phuket (80.93).
Respondents were asked to rate the islands based on natural attractions, activities and sights, restaurant and food, people and value.
They had to rate a candidate on a scale of 1 to 5 where “1” means poor and “5” means excellent.
In the magazine survey, Cebu island was shut out, however, from the coveted list of Top Islands Overall.
Bali with a rating of 87.41 was still no. 1.
Phuket in Thailand ranked second last year but failed to land in this year’s top ten.
Top Islands Overall rankings include: Bali (87.41), Galapagos (86.80), Cape Breton Island in Nova Scotia (86.09), Kauai (85.90), Mount Desert Island in Maine (85.87), Maui in Hawaii (85.48), Aeolian Islands in Italy (85.13), Maldives (84.43), Big Island (83.92), and Vancouver Island (83.74).
For the past three years, the announcement of the World’s Best Awards winners has been preceded by the release of findings from The Survey of Affluence and Wealth in America, created by Travel + Leisure’s parent company American Express Publishing and Harrison Group, a strategic-marketing research firm.
Novogrod says she was struck by the consistency of the insights of American consumers. “They have a high regard for value and service, brand loyalty and small rewards,” she said.
The Best Islands awards were divided into geographical categories: Continental US and Canada; Hawaii; the Caribbean, Bermuda, and the Bahamas; Mexico and Central and South America; Europe; Asia; and Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific.
The questionnaires were developed by editors of the magazine in association with Harris Interactive, an independent research firm. They were posted in the magazine’s website.
Readers were invited to participate and a select group also received invitations by e-mail.
Respondents were screened and responses from any identified travel-industry professionals were eliminated from the final tally.
In the Condé Nast Traveler annual Readers’ Choice Survey, Cebu has occupied the seventh spot in the best island destination in Asia/Indian Ocean three times: in 2008 at 70.9, which is two points short of 2007’s 72.3 points and 2004’s 72.8 points.
Twice, it has been ranked 8th best island destination: in 2006 with 71.0 points and in 2005 with 69.5 in the same magazine survey.
Both Travel + Leisure Magazine and Condé Nast Traveler are American publications based in New York.
‘Much to be proud of
Tourism Undersecretary Phineas Alburo said the award proves that Cebu Island has a lot to be proud of.
“That’s good news. It really speaks well of the destination and has erased doubts among travelers. It is a very good development,” Alburo told Cebu Daily News.
He said Travel + Leisure, based in New York, was a “prestigious” American publication.
Alburo said Cebu gets a share of 500,000 international tourists in a year while the number of local tourists exceeds more than 500,000 a year.
“Cebu has all the ingredients for an ideal destination,” he said.
He cited the island’s accessibility with an international airport, natural attractions such as diving and beaches, heritage sites, and the hospitality of the people, making it one of the best destinations in Asia.
Lapu-Lapu City Vice Mayor Mario Amores said “tremendous” efforts were poured by officials into tourism development.
He said the presence of an international airport and world-class resorts were a big plus, aside from the business appeal.
“Without a business-friendly environment, these resorts would not be investing here. They look for assurance of returns on their investment and that the environment factors are stable.”
Lapu-Lapu first lady Paz Radaza, co-chairperson of the City Tourism Committee, said the recognition would encourage more cooperation between the public and private sector.
“With this recognition, it will encourage both the private and the public sector to work hard to give tourists the best amenities at par with the world standards. The recognition will make every Cebuano proud,” Radaza added.

Source: Cebu is 4th best island in Asia for 2009

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