Boracay Island to Close

Only 30% of Boracay hotels seen opening by October 26

A TOURISM industry leader warned would-be tourists about making vacation plans on Boracay Island, especially for the forthcoming long All Saints’ Day weekend, because of the distinct possibility that their booked resorts would not be open by October 26.

This developed as an official of the Department of Tourism (DOT) confirmed that the agency is targeting the reopening of just 30 percent of the hotels and resorts on the island.

Local airlines, however, have already started selling seats to the island, with most returning to their regular flight schedules to Caticlan and Kalibo, in anticipation of the island’s reopening, as announced by Environment Secretary Roy A. Cimatu.

“We’ve always believed that October 26 would just be a partial reopening of the island. We did not expect it to be fully opened by then,” said Tourism Congress of the Philippines President Jose Clemente III. “The conditions imposed by the interagency Task Force Boracay, especially with regard to the construction of mandatory sewage-treatment plants for hotels with 49 rooms and up, have made it difficult for all establishments to be open by then. As a result, the island may only have a limited number of rooms available once October 26 comes around.”

As such,

he warned, “people planning to go to Boracay should first check if the resorts they booked with have already been accredited by the DOT, as this is the condition for their reopening.”

This was confirmed by Assistant Secretary for Tourism Regulation, Coordination and Resource Generation Ma. Rica C. Bueno who said the DOT Region 6 (Western Visayas) office is targeting “3,000 to 5,000 rooms” to be open by October 26. As of March 2018, the DOT estimated the total number rooms on Boracay at some 15,000.

The DOT earlier announced its “no accreditation, no reopening” policy for Boracay. For a tourism accommodation or enterprise to reopen, it must first comply with the new guidelines of the Departments of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), and of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) regarding relevant permits.

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