The Philippines is becoming a favourite destination for Israeli travellers.
The country was cited by Israeli news and travel Hebrew-language websites News1, International Air Services, Terminal and Walla as the next new destination for travelling Israeli nationals.
The reports referred to the considerable rise in the number of Israeli tourists in the country based on data from the Department of Tourism which marked the 30% increase in the number of Israelis travelling to the Philippines in 2013 – a total of 7,675 Israeli tourists up from the 5,895 in 2012.
The website articles highlighted top tourist draws Palawan and Boracay. Palawan Island has been rated as the Number 1 Island in the Top 30 Islands of the World Readers Choice Awards 2014 given by Condé Nast, gleaned from over a million votes and 77,000 readers worldwide. Palawan was given the highest rating of 88.750 over 29 other islands cited by the Condé Nast Traveler. In its citation, Condé Nast Traveler referred to the Philippine tourist spot as shooting to the top of the list with its recent claim to fame as the home of one of the new seven natural wonders of the world, the Puerto Princesa Underground River.
The Puerto Princesa subterranean river spans 8.2 kilometres, the longest in Asia and the second longest underground river in the world. The protected area features limestone or karst landscapes in a complex cave system where a 20 million year old Miocene age serenia fossil was discovered, along with egg shape and crystal rock formations and at least 11 minerals. The underground river flows directly into the sea, with its lower half brackish and affected by the ocean’s tide.
Boracay island took the number 12th spot in the list. The tiny island of 10 square miles in Western Visayas, central Philippines was cited by Travel+Leisure Magazine as Best Overall Island of 2012.
The island is already a famous top tourist destination with its 4 kilometres of powdery white sand beaches, an area of which is considered as Asia’s top kitesurf destination, 25 dive sites, shallow blue waters ideal for snorkelling and other water sports, complemented by thriving nightlife on the beachfront with a great variety of restaurants, shops and resorts.
A media release from the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) noted the Israeli articles as partly attributing the increase to the promotion of Philippine tourism in Israel between the Israel-Philippine Tourism Chamber and the Philippine Embassy in Tel Aviv.
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