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The first tourism "explosion" came after an article and photographs of a German backpacker appeared in a German magazine with one of the largest circulation in Europe. This catapulted Puerto Galera into the consciousness of every European household, from Scandinavia to Greece, fueling the tourism exodus from the West. The backpackers were followed by expatriates who mingled with the locals to develop better cottages and restaurants. Overnight, its tourism infrastructure developed. A decade after, with the rise of Boracay as rival, there was a lull as Puerto Galera passed through the eye of the tourism storm.

Now, in its second "explosion" due to the award, Puerto Galera may not necessarily rival, but complement Boracay as its "twin" prime tourism destination in the Philippines. Whereas Boracay has one vast panoramic beach of talc-fine snow-white sand, Puerto Galera has dozens of protected coves with ancient coral gardens and rare marine species. It also has a rich history, being along the trade corridor of the Manila-Acapulco galleons, and being an ancient port where Chinese traders bartered Ming vases for native gold since prehistory.

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