Boracay among ‘Favorite Islands in the World 2023’ list of Travel + Leisure Magazine


POPULAR publication Travel + Leisure has included Boracay Island in Aklan among its readers’ 25 Favorite Islands in the World for 2023.

On July 11, T+L wrote: “More than 7,000 islands make up the Philippines, and Boracay still manages to stand apart from the rest. The tiny island—just 4.5 miles long—is known as ‘the island that never sleeps’ for its parties and nightlife. One T+L reader called the island ‘the best leisure vacation destination.’” The island, world famous for its creamy-white powdery sand, received a reader score of 92.94, putting it in 10th place.

Boracay ranked after the Great Barrier Reef Islands in Australia, the Maldives, Bali in Indonesia, Madeira in Portugal, Phuket in Thailand, Skye and the Hebrides, in Scotland, Koh Samui in Thailand, Dominica in the Caribbean, and Langkawi in  Malaysia.

Domestic travelers dominate

According to T+L, close to 165,000 of its readers completed its survey this year, up 25 percent over prepandemic levels. Results for the Favorite Islands survey were based on the following criteria: Natural attractions/beaches, Activities/sights, Restaurants/food, People/friendliness, and Value. “For each characteristic, respondents could choose a  rating of excellent, above average, average, below average, or poor. The final scores are averages of these responses,” said the international publication.

Tourist arrivals in Boracay reached 1.14 million in the first half of the year, according to data from the Malay-Boracay Tourism Office. Domestic travelers, at 899,775, accounted for close to 79 percent of total tourist arrivals for the period. Foreign tourists reached 214,754 or 19 percent of total arrivals, while overseas Filipino workers/overseas Filipinos at 27,281 accounted for just 2.4 percent of total arrivals for the period. The Bureau of Immigration defines overseas Filipinos as Philippine passport holders permanently residing abroad.

Unlike prepandemic times, domestic travelers now dominate tourist arrivals in the island. Their arrivals in the first half of 2023 already represents 96.5 percent of the 932,433 recorded domestic tourists in the entire 2019.

Best tropical vacation

While Palawan failed to make the favorite islands list, the province landed the 23rd spot in T+L’s 29 Best Tropical Vacations Around the World, published in February this year, as well as the magazine’s 13 Places Where You Can See the Clearest Water in the World, published in May.

Wrote Melissa Locker of the island-province’s inclusion on the clearest water list: “Although it’s just a quick flight from Manila, Palawan feels like it’s a world away. The sparsely-populated archipelago is made up of jungle-filled islands surrounded by stunning teal waters teeming with fish and coral reefs and an incredible array of lagoons, coves, and secret beaches. Explore the waters of El Nido, where tropical fish swarm around the coral reefs, go diving in the azure ocean off of Linapacan Island, or bravely swim through one of the world’s longest underground rivers.”

According to the province’s tourism office, Palawan attracted 364,521 tourists in the first quarter of the year, of which 183,540 domestic visitors and 180,981 were international travelers. Prior to the pandemic, total tourist arrivals in Palawan reached 1.9 million.

Image credits: Stella Arnaldo, Rodrigolab |