The Philippines is a key gateway to Southeast Asia and is now among the fastest growing economies in the region. It has more than 7,641 islands which offer travellers indescribable natural beauty, an array of special experiences and travel highlights.
Australian and New Zealand travellers are becoming increasingly aware of the stunning beauty of the Philippines. This according to Norjamin Delos Reyes, Tourism Attaché at Philippine Department of Tourism Australia and New Zealand who says that the archipelago is an incredible destination perfect for discovering unexplored locations.
“Our lush, tropical backdrops, iconic sunsets, and dreamy tropical beaches make the Philippines one of the most exotic holiday destinations. As a destination, it is still relatively undiscovered and offers unparalleled value, so there’s no better time to get to know our tropical archipelago, world-renowned for its abundance of beauty, wildlife and bio-diversity,” Reyes says.
He goes on to share some interesting facts that you probably never knew about the Philippines:
- We have over 7,641 islands. This number has increased when, earlier this year, more islands were officially recognised and counted!
- We are a county of smiling, highly skilled, English-speaking people. Don’t be shy about approaching a Filipino and starting a conversation. We’re not just fun, we’re officially friendly too. Forbes.com ranked the Philippines as the friendliest country in Asia and the eighth friendliest place in the world.
- The Philippines is officially home to the ‘Best Islands in the World’, with the stunning destination’s islands consistently recognised in the highly acclaimed Conde Nast Traveller’s Readers’ Choice. In October 2018, the awards were categorised into regions, with the Philippines scooping the top three best islands in Asia: Siargo, Boracay and Palawan were listed respectively.
- The Philippines was also named ‘Asia’s Leading Beach Destination 2018’ at the prestigious World Travel Awards.
- The Philippines offers excellent value for money, with a bottle of beer costing around 1AUD.
- The town of Vigan in the province of Ilocos Sur was officially inaugurated as one of the Seven Wonder Cities of the World in May 2015.
- The Philippines is the heart of marine biodiversity. The Philippines archipelago is located within the Coral Triangle and has 76 per cent of the world’s coral species, six of the world’s seven marine turtle species and at least 2,228 reef fish species.
- The ‘It’s more fun in the Philippines’ marketing campaign, stemmed from a single question asked to the Department of Tourism ‘why would a tourist want to come to the Philippines?’
- Puerto Princesa Subterranean River is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the new Seven Wonders of Nature.
- The Philippines was named in honour of King Philip II of Spain. Spanish explorer Ruy Lopez de Villalobos, during his expedition in 1542, named the islands of Leyte and Samar Felipinas after the then Prince of Asturias. Eventually the name Las Islas Filipinas would be used to cover all the island of the archipelago.