Sunset in Bunaken, Manado, North Sulawesi. (Shutterstock/File)
Indonesia took home the award for the world’s top destination for two years in a row given by London-based Dive Magazine.
Siladen Resort and Spa at Bunaken National Park in North Sulawesi was also named the best dive center and resort by the publication.
A total of 13,845 votes were collected since the first polling in May, of which hundreds of nominated places and liveaboards were reduced to top 25 in each category.
There were three categories presented to the online voters: Best destination, dive center or resort and liveaboard. The second voting period was conducted in October for one full month.
In the best destination category, Indonesia earned the biggest votes with 1,067 or 11.45 percent from the total of 9,399 votes casted.
In the second place was Philippines with 749 votes or 7.97 percent, followed by Azores, an autonomous region of Portugal in the mid-Atlantic, which earned 576 votes or 6.13 percent.
For the best dive center or resort category, Siladen Resort and Spa was the first winner with 820 votes or 26.31 percent from a total of 3,117 votes.
“This luxury resort sits in the heart of the Bunaken National Park in northern Sulawesi and has long been famed for its quality diving,” wrote the publication.
The second spot was given to The Oblu-Helengli resort in the Maldives with 469 votes, followed by Wakatobi in Southeast Sulawesi in the third spot.
Up next in the top 10 list were Lembeh Resorts in West Sumatra, Atmosphere Dauin in the Philippines, Misool in West Papua, Papua Paradise in West Papua, Atlantis International Diving in Bali, Blue Corner in Bali, and Aiyanar in Philippines.
In the liveaboards category, Cocos Sea Hunter from Costa Rica came out as the first winner with 233 votes from the total of 1,338 votes casted, winning by one vote from Sulawesi’s MY Pelagian.
Tourism Minister Arief Yahya said these awards gave a positive impact towards Indonesian tourism, “My formula is still the 3Cs; [winning this award] will boost Indonesians’ Confidence level,” said Arief.
The next “C” is Credible, meaning that the public’s trust towards Indonesia will increase. The last “C” is Calibration, as through this award Indonesia can see where it stands in the global scene. (kes)