|Ariara island in Calamian, Palawan. Photo from Ariara Island's website
MANILA, Philippines – An island in Calamian, Palawan has been getting a lot of buzz from magazines in the United Kingdom for its 600-meter white sand beach and uninterrupted views of the sea.
Ariara island, located 160 miles southwest of Manila, ranked first in the Top 100 holiday destinations list of the British edition of Vogue magazine.
The full list will be released in Vogue UK’s August 2012 issue, the Department of Tourism said in a statement.
"What is remarkable is that the entire resort is a testament to the unique artistry and skills of Filipino designers and artisans. The use of local materials and traditional techniques serves as good advertising for Filipino craftsmanship and world-class products. Tourism is not just about counting tourist arrivals. More importantly, it is about building opportunities on the ground and improving lives, in communities in very real places," Tourism Secretary Ramon Jimenez Jr. said.
"Furthermore, the resort’s properly planned development and low density shows the owners’ respect for the environment. We want to see more of this type of investment which supports the principles of responsible, ethical and sustainable tourism," Jimenez added.
Ariara, dubbed as a "private paradise," has only eight spacious villas and beach cottages. All furniture used here are made by Filipino carpenters and craftsmen using indigenous materials.
Other UK mags
Aside from Vogue, Ariara has been hailed by other magazines in the UK as one of the world’s best islands.
Among them are the annual travel issue of Times Magazine, which called Ariara the "Best Private Island Resort," describing it as ”a Philippine island of such prettiness that you’d almost expect Johnny Depp to pop out with a parrot on his shoulder.”
Independent magazine, in its list of "2012’s Most Surprising Holiday Destinations," said Ariara is one of the best islands to visit this year.
Black Tomato, meanwhile, said the island is ”the” place to visit in 2012.
Other UK magazines which featured Ariara are Angels and Urchins, Harrods Magazine, Harper’s Bazaar, The Spectator, Wine and Dine, Urbanollogy and Tatler.
The UK remains a key generator of tourist arrivals to the country, according to the DOT, with 104,466 visitors recorded in 2011.