Boracay residents see cruise ship stops as nuisance
ILOILO CITY — Several residents and business operators on Boracay Island are protesting stopovers of cruise ships on the island, which reopened less than two months ago after a six-month rehabilitation.
They said the cruise ships contributed to the congestion on the island but without bringing significant livelihood to residents and business operators.
“The cruise ship passengers worsen foot and vehicular traffic. These should not be encouraged by the government,” a longtime resident and business owner told the Inquirer.
The source requested anonymity for fear of antagonizing officials enforcing policies on the island.
The cruise ships bring from 2,000 to 4,000 tourists to the island who stay for only a few hours before returning to their ships.
The Boracay Inter-Agency Task Force had said that it was enforcing a regulation to limit the number of tourists on the island to 6,405 daily.
“We were closed down for six months, many lost their livelihood and jobs and business operators bled a lot,” an expatriate said.
“Several have not reopened or have closed own permanently. If we allow these cruise ships, we will be throwing out all those sacrifices,” the expatriate added.
Tourists, who are bound for Boracay, are required to book accommodations before going to the island so that the number of arrivals can be monitored.
Booking confirmation is checked at the Caticlan Jetty Port, the jump-off point to the island.
The Department of Tourism has accredited 268 establishments offering accommodations on the island as of Dec. 4. The establishments have a total of 9,637 rooms.
A study commissioned by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources has determined that only 249 hotels and resorts were needed to keep the number of tourists within the island’s carrying capacity.
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