Boracay named top beach destination



Boracay is a favorite destination in the Philippines for foreign tourists. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

ILOILO CITY, Philippines — Business operators on Boracay island have embraced its new distinction as the world’s best island destination for 2012.

But they raised the need for additional infrastructure and environmental protection to retain its world-class features.

“It is, of course, a very welcome development but it would be difficult to maintain our position,” said Dionesio Salme, president of the Boracay Foundation Inc. (BFI), an organization of business owners and operators on the island.

Salme said the recognition given by the prestigious Travel+Leisure Magazine reaffirmed Boracay’s fame as having one of the best beaches in the world.

The island, known for its powdery-white sand and clear waters, topped the magazine’s 2012 World’s Best Awards with a rating of 93.10, beating the popular Indonesian destination Bali Island, which ranked second with 90.41. Boracay ranked fourth in the same category in 2011.

The magazine’s annual World’s Best Awards rates hotels, islands, destination spas, golf resorts and rental-car agencies. The ranking is based on an online survey among its readers.

Also cited in the awards was the Discovery Shores Boracay resort, which ranked fifth in the top 100 hotels in the world (from 55th last year) and second top resort in Asia (from 8th last year). The posh resort also bagged the best hotel spa in Asia award.

Rounding up the winners in the best island category were: Galápagos, Ecuador; Maui, Hawaii; Great Barrier Reef Islands, Australia; Santorini, Greece; Kauai, Hawaii; Big Island, Hawaii; Sicily, Italy; and Vancouver Island, British Columbia.

Annual tourist arrivals in Boracay have grown consistently for the past several years, from 649,559 in 2009 and 779,666 in 2010 to 908,875 in 2011. Tourism revenues also increased from P11.9 billion in 2009 and P14.3 billion in 2010 to P16.7 billion in 2011.

Salme said a lot should still be done in addressing the infrastructure needs of the island, which would likely draw more than a million tourists in 2012.

He cited the need to complete the drainage system to address the flooding in areas of the island, especially during the rainy season.

There is also a need to develop the Tabon jetty port in Caticlan, which serves as an alternative jump-off point to Boracay during the southwest monsoon.

The island’s road network also needs to be improved and that includes the completion of the circumferential road which residents hope will address the worsening traffic problems on the 1,032-hectare island.

But he said the biggest challenge has been and would continue to be the island’s environmental problems, which have been blamed on decades of unregulated construction and development projects.

Tourism regional director Helen Catalbas said the island’s award “makes it more urgent to address the concerns on the island’s sustainability.”

She said various sectors including the government should work hard to ensure that the island could cope with its continuing popularity.

“Other destinations will overtake us if we do not preserve the island’s environment and ensure that development is regulated,” Catalbas said.

She said the government has intensified its monitoring against bringing out sand from the island.

Several tourists have been intercepted at the Caticlan airport and jetty port with water bottles and plastic bags filled with sand from the island that they intended to bring home as souvenirs.

Get Inquirer updates while on the go, add us on these apps:

Inquirer Viber

Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.

  • Solostar1

    Finally #1!!!!Very deserving!!I love Boracay and will visit the place again soon!!!

  • Jun Go

    It’s more fun in the Philippines!

  • Kristoffer Atienza

    With this distinction, who’s afraid of the Chinese market now. See? Help is on the way – from God. Faith lang ang kailangan pala eh.

  • paulmart

    SOLVE THE FLOODING IN THE BORACAY STREETS !!!!! Even drainage system they can’t provide !!!! The streets in Boracay are becoming always flooded even during slight rains. Water from drains are overflowing to the sea. THIS IS NOT FUN ANYMORE….

  • Nino

    Natanggal ang Palawan sa beach destinations dahil kinalbo ni Gina Lopez ang kagubatan doon.

  • Vanna

    ban gina lopez in palawan. greedy resort owners not welcome.

  • Bernard John H. Tagle

    Congrats to Boracay! May this serve as inspiration for improvement.
    Boracay needs better roads, sewage system, and cleaning crews.

  • $18209031

    Diyos ko po, saan na yata papunta ng dumi sa mga tourista mga yan ? Simpre papunta mga ito sa dagat. 

    • manks

       Kaya nga po ang kailangan ng boracay ay ang waste water treatment… A simple Septic Tank ay puede na…

  • disqus_ZrxaGjUzMQ

    Boracay have sewage treatment plant already — ITS ILLEGAL NOW TO BRING OUT BORACAY SANDS



    PAG nakita ninyo ang ilog namin sa San Nicolas, Hagonoy, Bulacan, sasabihin ninyong, “Ala palang kakwenta-kwenta yang Boracay na yan….parang saling-ket lang sa ilog ng San Nicolas!”

  • Eric

    the bishops will rally again against this news, ayaw nila na may possitive news ang pinas.

  • iyot

    Best island destination of perverts, pedophiles, and sex tourists.

  • Platypus09

    I would like to see WORLD CLASS hotel chains and towering or high rise condominiums lined up the beautiful beaches of Boracay.

    I can’t wait to see Boracay becoming the likes of Acapulco, Cancun, Rio de Janeiro, Hawaii, and other beautiful beach destinations of the world.

    • tuldok

      May limit ang number ng storeys ng mga building sa Boracay.

      • Platypus09

        Why is there a limit in the number of storeys that can be built in Boracay beaches?

        What is the scientific explanation to that?

        I don’t see any difference between Manila and Boracay knowing their geographical location in the tectonic fault.

        I also don’t see any difference between Boracay and other beach resorts of the world as far as beach sand dunes and erosions are concerned.

  • rosamistika16

    i guess it is just ok especially for foreign tourists to bring a small amount of sand to their homeland.  this is a way of advertising how beautiful boracay is to other countries by showing to them what is real.

    just limit the quantity maybe to a minimum (say 100g-200g).

    there are really people who love to bring home sand, soil or stones from the country they have visited as souvenirs.

  • Tag

    Yuck the main drainage pipe for boracay dumps into the beach front. Early moring workers use the beach front as a CR. way to many tricycles and motors. During heavy winds off season the beach front is polluted with all kinds of trash. The water is self cleaning during the tide changes . Oh for forgot a lot of bottomless septic tanks when u see the pools of standing water during low tide that is the ground water steeping up. Less then 10 years ago I was informed by a local doctor the ground water and areas of the beach water was tested and ever imaginable water born diseases were found. I hope the best for boracay but a lot has to be controlled and people be held accountable. My observations are based on 2 yrs of living their .nthe bright spots was the tourist police. Very professional and good. Nite time wouldn’t want my children exposed to all the things. People go there because they don’t know or care. Mostly they don’t know. As far as the sex industry there. Very obvious . Are there good people there yes of course. Are people there concerned yes of course.

To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.

Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:

c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City,Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94


editors' picks



latest videos