(File photo)

MANILA – The Philippines was voted as one of the 10 friendliest countries in the world in the 2022 Condé Nast Traveler (CNT) Readers’ Choice Awards.

Ranked by almost a quarter of a million CNT readers, the country also secured back-to-back wins as the luxury travel magazine named Boracay as "top island" in Asia and Palawan as the eighth.

"Just making it into the top 10, the Philippines (made up of around 7,641 islands) inclusion is proof that the famous Filipino hospitality is alive and kicking," Conde Nast said on Oct. 4 as the award's winners were released.

"The country has often been praised for its seemingly effortless ability to lavish genuine hospitality on visitors, foreigners, or expatriates. Many people consider the Banaue Rice Terraces here to be the ‘Eighth Wonder of the World,' though plenty of other beauty spots abound here. The islands are peppered with majestic mountainscapes, decorative churches and sprawling sandy beaches," it added.

Aside from being one of the friendliest, the Philippines was also hailed as the 30th best country to travel to, scoring 86.66 and besting Costa Rica, Belize, Germany, Malta, Indonesia, Mexico, France, Argentina, and Switzerland, among others.

Tourism Secretary Christina Frasco, meanwhile, said this as a welcome development that reaffirms the Department of Tourism's (DOT) efforts to position the Philippines as a premier destination in Asia.

"Recognitions such as these affirm our efforts to herald not only our country’s natural wonders but also our readiness to become the premier tourist destination in Asia. The Department is one with all our tourism stakeholders, from the local government units, private sector partners, and our fellowmen in celebrating these victories for the Philippines from Condé Nast Traveler," she said on Wednesday.

"We are confident that the acclaim for our flagship destinations will help garner more international interest for our country. With President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr.’s thrust to expand and equalize tourism opportunities nationwide, the development and promotion of our other emerging destinations will follow suit soon," she added.

Palawan, which garnered an 88.99 rating, is joined by equally heralded island destinations from Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, and Japan on the Conde Nast Travel Asia list.

Shangri-La Boracay also ranked 27th in the 50 Best Resorts in the World while El Nido Resorts in Palawan was voted 40th best. Shangri-La Mactan Resort and spa in Cebu, on the other hand, ranked 20th in the Top 20 Resorts in Asia. (PNA)