By Heidi Ng
TRIPADVISOR, the travel planning and booking site, announced the winners of its Travellers’ Choice™ awards for Islands recently.
Award winners were determined using an algorithm that took into account the quantity and quality of reviews and ratings for hotels, restaurants and attractions on islands worldwide, gathered over a 12-month period, as well as traveller booking interest on TripAdvisor.
“The islands in Asia have long been celebrated for their beauty and for the tropical escape they provide to global travellers around the world,” said Janice Lee Fang, Communications Director, Asia Pacific, for TripAdvisor. “For sun, sand and sea lovers, our hotel booking data on TripAdvisor shows that savings of around 24 per cent can be achieved if you book your holiday at any of Asia’s top islands during the shoulder season.”
The shoulder season is deemed the least expensive season either right before, or right after the most expensive (peak) season, where travellers can still enjoy great weather, whilst making the most of seasonal discounts.
Indonesia islands are ranked highly on the list, with Bali named the #1 island in Asia and fifth in the world, followed by Lombok and Gili Trawangan, ranked fifth and sixth respectively in Asia. Thailand islands also proved to be popular destinations for travellers with Phuket, Ko Samui and Koh Tao nabbing a spot on the list.
The Ministry of Tourism Republic of Indonesia commented, “Indonesia is an archipelago blessed with thousands of wonderful islands that offer spectacular scenery, unique ambience, and vast marine biodiversity to be discovered.”
“Bali, Lombok and Gili Trawangan are the finest examples as of destinations that are not just great to visit, but islands that serve as enchanting sanctuaries that perpetuate harmony between the people, culture and nature of Indonesia. We would like to thank TripAdvisor for this recognition and we look forward to more visitors from around the world coming to explore further the beauty of these islands.”
For those wondering what these islands offer, TripAdvisor has also identified top-rated hotels as well as popular tours, iconic attractions and upcoming events to offer more insights about great things to discover on these award-winning islands.
And I am proud to announce that our beloved Boracay in Aklan province garnered the 8th spot for this Islands in Asia award. Boracay seems to be our shining jewel and I am glad that the world recognizes the beauty of the Philippines. I cannot wait for more islands to be discovered in the Philippines. If only the new government will focus on eco tourism and airport, roads, ferry infrastructures to improve the economy.
Tourism, after all, is a job generating facet of the economy if we can only attract the number of visitors that Thailand and Indonesia get.
Here are the Top 10 Islands in Asia:
1) Bali, Indonesia – Average nightly rate of all hotels bookable on TripAdvisor in Bali: $1021
Millions of travellers flock to this popular destination every year for plenty of reasons. Famed for its beautiful beaches, dense jungles and enticing temples, Bali offers something for all types of travellers — the surfers, the adventurers and even those seeking a cultural experience or a rejuvenating respite. For some fun under the sun, travellers can head to the highly-rated amusement and waterpark
Reason to book now: Bali International Dragon Boat Race and Festival on Batur Lake: May 26-29, 2016
2) Phuket, Thailand – Average nightly rate of all hotels bookable on TripAdvisor in Phuket: $67
A spectacular holiday spot filled with vibrant sights and sounds, Phuket’s incredible natural attractions offer plenty of reasons for travellers to visit and revisit the island. Beachgoers will be able to enjoy panoramic beaches boasting clear blue waters.
Reason to book now: Baba Wedding Festival, located in the Phuket Old Town
3) Koh Samui, Thailand – Travellers head to idyllic Ko Samui every year to unwind and rejuvenate at its picturesque beaches and award-winning resorts offering incredible spas and amenities. Nature lovers will be able to easily spend a whole day exploring the islands.
Reason to book now: Samui Regatta, located at Chaweng Beach: May 21-28, 2016
4) Koh Tao, Thailand – Average nightly rate of all hotels bookable on TripAdvisor in Island of Koh Tao: $71
Nestled on the western shore of the Gulf of Thailand, palm-lined Koh Tao takes its name from the abundant sea turtles that can be found on its shores. With plenty of stunning beaches offering kilometres of soft sand and crystal waters, this island is idyllic for sun worshippers.
Reason to book now: Save Koh Tao Festival, located at the Sairee: June 18-19, 2016
5) Lombok, Indonesia – Average nightly rate of all hotels bookable on TripAdvisor in Lombok: $85
Near the more popular Bali, Lombok is a gem with many natural attractions to behold – tranquil diving spots, picture-perfect waterfalls and even rugged hiking trails leading up to volcanoes with crater lakes. One of the highly recommended activities is to follow the trekking trail towards the magnificent
Reason to book now: Senggigi Festival held across the island: July 5-8, 2016
6) Trawangan , Indonesia – Average nightly rate of all hotels bookable on TripAdvisor in Gili Trawangan: $95
The largest of the three Gili islands, Gili Trawangan is a paradise for travellers looking for the ideal snorkelling or diving spots. A tropical retreat for travellers of all budgets, the island not only offers luxury hotels and fancy restaurants, but also trendy guesthouses and local “warungs” (food stalls usually selling local delicacies). Travellers can hit one of the many dive schools including the award-winning Manta Dive. After spending the day in the sea, head to
Reason to book now: Festival Gili Indah (Beautiful Gili Festival): September 24-27, 2016
7) Boracay, Philippines – Average nightly rate of all hotels bookable on TripAdvisor in Boracay: $96
One of the Philippines’ top destinations, Boracay earns its fame through its vibrant tourist hotspots and pulsating nightlife. Escape the hustle and bustle of the city and head to
Reason to book now: Boracay Food Festival: May 11-13, 2016
8) Langkawi , Malaysia – Average nightly rate of all hotels bookable on TripAdvisor in Langkawi: $69
Tropical haven of Langkawi Island is home to sun-kissed beaches and lush, forested hills, making it the ideal destination for nature lovers. Get a panoramic view of the island’s beauty by taking a ride on the Langkawi cable car.
Reason to book now: Langkawi International Laksa (spicy noodles) Carnival: usually held on last week of May
9) Havelock Island, India – Average nightly rate of all hotels bookable on TripAdvisor in Havelock Island: $148
Havelock Island is a picturesque paradise dotted with beautiful white sand beaches. It is also home to the spectacular Radhanagar beach, a consistent Travellers Choice winner for Beaches. This island is also popular for scuba diving and snorkeling.
Reason to book now: Music Festival, together with Monsoon festival: usually held in August
10) Iriomote-Jima, Japan – Average nightly rate of all hotels bookable on TripAdvisor in Taketomicho Iriomote-jima: $237
Located off the coast of Ishigaki is quaint Taketomicho Iriomote-jima with its beautiful rows of traditional houses and shops, reminiscent of ancient Japan. Travellers can rent a bicycle to get to the island’s natural wonders such as the stunning Pinaisara Falls.
Reason to book now: Honen-sai festival (a festival thanking the gods for abundant harvest): usually held in end July
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