SIARGAO One of TIME Magazine’s “WORLD GREATEST PLACES OF 2021”

Even if actually travelling to someplace else anywhere around the world is an iffy proposition, for obvious reasons, that is no reason to stop promoting this spot or other as a great destination to check out, someday. And the Philippines is proud to have a wide selection of scenic place for tourists both local and international. Being a tropical archipelago, that certainly means islands with beach resorts galore. There are plenty of those to be found, such as Boracay. But for a beach spot catering to a specific clientele, like surfers, it has to be Siargao. And TIME magazine agrees.

Yes, that TIME magazine has recently released a travelogue feature entitled “The World’s Greatest Places of 2021” this past July 20. That lists one hundred cities and places around the world which are great places to go to for touristy travel, but also for having local businesses and industries that were able to adapt as best as could be done in the middle of the global COVID pandemic. The island of Siargao, Surigao Del Norte is the only destination from the Philippines to make it on this list, so TIME must have found something awesome about our country’s surfing paradise.

And it sounds like they did. They mentioned how in the past, Siargao was pretty much a surfing haven that only dedicated surfers go to, while more “mass market” tourists would go to resorts in Boracay, or maybe even Palawan or Cebu. Now however, Siargao has been steadily growing into a mass market destination itself. There is mention of the Inara Siargao Resort, a beachfront accommodation with five suites that offers online booking on Instagram. Such convenience with pandemic considerations might be what TIME was considering. Another point for them was how the island managed to get more cellular towers erected before the COVID wave, the better for internet connectivity.

By Thursday, July 22, the Department of Tourism has gotten wind of this splendid recommendation and, as CNN Philippines tells it, DOT Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat thanked TIME for in an official statement for adding Siargao among the World’s Greatest Places of 2021. “We are doubling our efforts to create a future of Philippine travel that is safe, more fun, and provides travelers with an authentic and meaningful experience throughout their journey,” says Sec. Romulo-Puyat, who adds that the DOT will continue to work on keeping tourism not just safe but viable during the COVID pandemic.

TIME magazine was not the only publication impressed by Siargao this year. Earlier this month, Vogue Paris also added it to its “Top Islands to go on Vacation this Summer.” And that list is only 10 islands, including Bali, Indonesia, Italy’s Ponza, and Virgin Gorda in the British Virgin Islands.

Image courtesy of Manila Bulletin

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