Destinations

Island hopping in the Philippines’ sustainable tropical paradise

Sponsored by Philippines Department of Tourism

Want to provide a guilt-free tropical island getaway for clients with sustainability on their minds?

The Philippines’ crown jewel, Boracay, is set to emerge from the global pandemic as a leading destination in the sustainable travel space.

As you may remember, two years ago the island was forced to close to tourists for six months to repair the pollution and degradation it had accumulated over years of skyrocketing popularity.

Research shows rehabilitation efforts not only introduced protections for and improved the island’s natural environment, but it also significantly improved the quality of life for locals.

Now, as Australia prepares to lift its ban on international travel, the Philippine government has created the Boracay Island Development Authority (BIDA) to promote programs focused on environmental preservation and conservation through community participation and engagement with indigenous peoples.

Sunset tour via paraw (image source: iStock/Michael Wels)

With this in mind, your clients can enjoy one of the Philippines’ most pristine islands– frequently named among the best in the world by the likes of Condé Nast, Harper’s Bazaar, Travel + Leisure and The Guardian, just to name a few – with a clean conscience.

Famous for its turquoise water, long stretches of powdery white sand, technicolour sunsets and the country’s best island nightlife, Boracay boasts exciting opportunities for diving, snorkelling, parasailing, and kayaking alongside its mellow island vibe.

Stand out experiences include helmet diving along the ocean floor to see the vibrant marine life of Boracay up-close, experiencing the islands famous sunsets from a paraw sailboat and, of course, learning beauty secrets at the island’s famous mermaid academy!

Why not island hop?

Give your clients the island-hopping experience by rounding out their itinerary with visits to the Philippines’ eco-tourism and adventure capital, Palawan, and the tranquil mangroves of its sustainability leader, Cebu.

Recognised as 2020’s Best Island in the World by Travel+Leisure, Palawan is the biggest island province in the country and boasts spectacular diving experiences, including Coron Bay’s famous shipwrecks.

The entrance of Palawan’s subterranean national park (images source: iStock/aldarinho)

Here, clients can take a boat tour through the world’s longest navigable underground river in St Paul Subterranean National Park, a UNESCO-recognised World Heritage Site voted as one of the “new Seven Wonders of Nature” in 2012. The ethereal spot is credited with propelling the island to fame, featuring stalactites and stalagmites shaped as Pegasus, dinosaurs, vegetables and the face of Jesus.

A trip to Palawan is not complete without admiring El Nido’s fantastic lagoons. The Big Lagoon is a stunning spot with emerald waters and towering limestone cliffs which does not allow boats inside. However, clients can hire kayaks to access the site’s massive natural swimming hole.

Sustainable travellers will also love Cebu, which is said to be at the forefront of the Philippines’ sustainable tourism movement and is home to the country’s first solar-powered and single-use plastic-free airport.

A tropical jungle trail in Cebu (image source: iStock/Seckin Ozturk)

Clients can bask in the region’s beautiful forest interior, enjoy a moment of self-care with a mindful journey through serene mangrove river experiences or immerse themselves in local culture with a tour of ancestral homes.

Cebu is also home to one of the Philippines’ most coveted diving spots, located on the small island of Mactan, which is connected to the main island by bridges. With dive sites suitable for beginners, experienced, and technical divers of all levels, Mactan’s shore-based diving offers a spectacularly biodiverse range of marine life, steep drop-offs, coral mouths, seagrass beds and underwater caves.

When the time is right to travel again, the welcoming Filipino people and the variety of sustainable travel options this stunning destination has to offer are sure to spark intrigue and wonder in even the most discerning traveller.

To find your clients’ fun in the Philippines, click HERE.


Featured image: White Beach, Boracay (source: iStock/ Michael Wels)


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