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Local tourists not enough to revive Boracay economy

/ 04:19 AM August 19, 2020

SERENITY With tourists coming in trickles amid travel restrictions, Boracay’s white beach has become a picture of serenity. —CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

ILOILO CITY, Iloilo, Philippines — Officials of Aklan province and business owners in Boracay are planning to open the island to selected domestic and foreign tourists by October in a bid to revive the local tourism industry.

The business groups said bringing in more tourists from areas which have managed the health crisis better could help boost tourism activities on the island, where businesses were crippled due to the pandemic.

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“COVID-19 has taken a heavy toll on the business sector here [on] the island of Boracay. The businesses are on the verge of collapse and bankruptcy … We could not sustain and maintain our business without the tourists,” the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry-Boracay (PCCI-Boracay), Compliance Association of Boracay and Boracay Water Sports Association said in a joint letter to Aklan Gov. Florencio Miraflores.

They said only a few tourists had visited Boracay after it was reopened to tourists from Western Visayas on June 16.

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Since Boracay reopened, 1,303 tourists, mostly from Iloilo, had visited the island as of Aug. 13, data from the Malay municipal tourism office showed. They included 81 from June 16 to June 30, 668 for July and 554 from Aug. 1 to Aug. 13.

The island was receiving between 3,000 and 5,000 tourists daily before the pandemic struck, records showed.

The local business groups have proposed to local officials to study the plan of the Department of Tourism to implement travel or tourist “bubbles” where tourists from areas with no or a few cases of COVID-19 can directly travel to tourist destinations like Boracay. INQ

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TAGS: Boracay tourism, coronavirus pandemic, coronavirus Philippines, local tourists
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