The party’s over: New-look Boracay will be a ‘haven of peace’

Boracay
A pristine white-sand beach in a quiet corner of Boracay

Tourism chiefs have announced that the newly reopened Boracay will be a haven of peace, rather than a place to party.

Speaking today (Wednesday, August 22) Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said the rehabilitated resort should be known as a “peaceful” and “sustainable” destination rather than a party island.

“Definitely it won’t be like a really party place anymore, it will be more,” the tourism chief said. She added that the government wanted Boracay “as it is and more peaceful. We want to promote sustainable tourism.”

Despite the white-sand island having been closed since April for ‘environmental rehabilitation’, Romulo-Puyat was optimistic that the upward trend of tourist arrivals in the Philippines would continue. She also said that the closure had become a “blessing in disguise” because visitors were discovering other destinations across the archipelago.

She added that in June this year, tourist arrivals increased by 11.35 per cent compared to the same month in 2017.

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“That was a surprise for me because I thought that it would dip because of the closure of Boracay,” she said.

“Now, the tourists know that aside from Boracay we have all these other beautiful beaches in the country.”

The interagency group overseeing the work on Boracay — the departments of Environment and Natural Resources, Interior and Local Government and tourism — are considering placing a cap on the number of tourists allowed on the island at any given time.

When asked if any new resorts will be built on Boracay, Romulo-Puyat said she did not see the need to have more, but did not rule out the possibility.

“As it is, there are already enough resorts. With the carrying capacity, we will be limiting the number of tourists entering so it doesn’t really make sense to put up more resorts,” she added. 

As we reported on Monday, when Boracay reopens on October 27, it may be a “haven of peace” by default. Recent inspections have found that fewer than one in six tourist establishments are currently compliant with strict new regulations.

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