Boracay island of Philippines reopens with restrictions on tourists

Renounced tourist destination of Philippines – Boracay island – will reopen on October 26th 2018, but with restrictions to the number of tourists. The island was closed for six months as a rehabilitation effort of the environment.

Boracay, located off the northern tip of the central island of Panay, is popular for its sugary white sands, greenish blue waters, lively nightlife and the availability of varied water sports, which attracted nearly 2 million domestic and foreign visitors last year.

During last April, President Rodrigo Duterte ordered the closure of the island, calling it a ‘cesspool’, as sewage and wastes were dumped into the sea, besides the reckless buildings constructed on the beach side.

As per official records, about a third of the 600-700 resorts on Boracay, about 308 km from the capital city Manila, were operating without official licence.

It was decided that, only 19,000 tourists will be allowed on the island on any given day and the number of workers will be limited to 15,000 daily, as informed by an environment official.

The island’s carrying capacity is about 55,000 persons and therefore only half of the hotel rooms in the region will be allowed to operate, to make sure that the island is not over crowded.

“Beachfront parties and other activities such as eating, smoking and drinking there will not be allowed,” said Rigor, Undersecretary at the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.

Meanwhile, the closure of Boracay, caused slow growth in the tourism revenue, to a near three-year low of 6 per cent in April-June.