The tiny island of Boracay recently made the news when it closed to tourists due to environmental concerns surrounding sewage. It is now set to reopen after a six-month closure.
This April, Rodrigo Duterte, the president of the Philippines, announced that the island would be closed to tourists. The closure would give the authorities time to deal with the sewage entering the water and ensure the long-term sustainability of the area. The clean-up efforts were projected to take six months to complete.
Now, the country’s Department of Tourism (DOT) has announced that Boracay island will be ready to welcome visitors starting 26 October. The closure also provided an opportunity for the country to showcase other tourism destinations.
Boracay Island to have new rules when it reopens
Undersecretary for Tourism Development Benito Bengzon Jr. said that “The fact that we have kept ourselves afloat is a very strong reflection of how resilient the industry is, how quick we are to make adjustments with our marketing and promotions and I think, also a very strong communication of how prepared the other destinations are in welcoming the influx of tourists who otherwise would have gone to Boracay.”
Only 7 kilometres long and 500 metres wide, the gorgeous beaches of Boracay attract almost a million visitors each year. Once it reopens, however, there will be some major changes. Smoking and drinking will be banned on the beaches except in specific areas. There will also be a limit on how many people can visit.
While the Department of Tourism hopes to increase tourist numbers, it is also pushing for sustainability, infrastructure development, and an environment-friendly approach. You can find out more at the Department of Tourism’s official Facebook Page.