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Cebu and the Visayas Islands were declared the top islands in Asia in the recent Conde Naste Traveler’s (CNT) 2020 Readers’ Choice Awards.

Palawan, Siargao and Boracay were included in the top 10 — occupying the fourth, fifth and sixth spots, respectively.

Cebu and the Visayas Islands were lumped as one entry.

In the international travel magazine’s 33rd Readers’ Choice Awards, 600,000 travelers voted online for the top islands in six areas — Asia, Australia and the South Pacific, the Caribbean and the Atlantic, Africa and the Indian Ocean, Europe, and North America.

“This latest citation from CNT gives us in the Department of Tourism (DoT) a boost of confidence, as we continuously carry out our strategies to gradually reopen domestic tourism, to once again welcome travelers from other countries when things become better,” Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said in a statement.

Last year, Boracay emerged as CNT’s top island in Asia, followed by Cebu and the Visayas in second place and Palawan in fourth.

Romulo-Puyat said the challenge for the department is to continue advocating for sustainable and responsible tourism practices, which would help preserve these destinations.

“With 7,641 islands in our archipelago, there are still so many left for nature-loving travelers to discover. In our journey toward tourism revival, sustainable and responsible tourism development shall continue to be one of the DoT’s core principles, just like how it has always been in the past few years,” she said.