MANILA, JUNE 3, 2013 (PHILSTAR) By Donnabelle Gatdula - Three beaches in the Philippines have been recognized as among the 100 best in the world, a survey on the CNN travel website showed.

CNN’s list include Palau Island in Cagayan Valley, El Nido in Palawan, and Puka beach in Boracay.

Ranked 10th on the list, Palau Island was cited for its glorious white sand meeting volcanic rocks and blue green water.

CNN said divers who visit Palau are greeted by white corals and rich marine species.

Since there is no resort or hotel in Palau, CNN said, visitors have two options – to camp under the stars or stay in residents’ homes.

For its powder-fine sand, gin-clear water, stunning views of karst limestone formations, empty lagoons and prehistoric caves, El Nido beach captured the 14th spot.

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El Nido’s surrounding waters contain more than 50 species of corals and endangered turtles, CNN said.

In 84th spot was Puka beach, the second longest beach in Boracay, the country’s premier beach destination.

Although large numbers of tourists visit Boracay, CNN said Puka beach is empty most of the time because there is no resort there and it has a limited number of restaurants.

The Philippines has been receiving numerous international recognitions for its premier tourist spots.

Earlier, The Farm at San Benito in Batangas was awarded as Best Medical Wellness Resort worldwide at the International Tourismus Borse in Berlin, Germany.

El Nido Resorts received the Community Benefit Award during the World Travel and Tourism Council’s Tourism for Tomorrow Awards in Abu Dhabi.

The Department of Tourism (DOT) is optimistic that it would be able to sustain the robust performance of the country’s tourism sector throughout the year.

From January to April this year, the DOT registered 1.65 million international arrivals, 10.12 percent higher than the number of foreign visitors during the same period last year.

Korea posted the biggest number of tourists with 406,595, followed by the United States with 246,011. Japan remained the third tourist contributor with 148,950 while China kept its position as the fourth biggest market with 132,307.

“While the upsurge may primarily be attributed to the summer season, it is also a clear indication that the nation has galvanized its reputation as an attractive destination,” Tourism Secretary Ramon Jimenez said.

The DOT expects to lure 5.5 million foreign tourists this year. By 2016, international arrivals are expected to increase to 10 million.

The government is trying to look for ways to compensate for the loss of Taiwanese tourists due to the travel ban imposed by their government.

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi
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