Boracay hopes tourists will pack beaches soon
ILOILO CITY—Tourist arrivals on Boracay Island are slowly picking up amid the pandemic and are expected to continue to increase as the Christmas holidays approach.
From Nov. 1 to Nov. 17, a total of 1,611 tourists came, or a daily average of 95. Of the figure, 1,154 or 72 percent were from Metro Manila.
In nine of the 17 days, daily tourist arrivals were more than 100.
From Oct. 1 to Oct. 29, the number of visitors reached 2,337, or a daily average of 80. Sixty-one percent were from Metro Manila.
The arrivals surpassed 100 daily in eight of 29 days last month.
While still significantly low compared to prepandemic figures of at least 3,000 daily, the improving numbers are raising expectations among business owners and residents.
“Hopefully, it will significantly increase in December as the holidays near. More establishments are opening up,” one business owner, who declined to be identified in this story, told the Inquirer.
Businesses in Boracay have been battered by the lack of tourists due to travel restrictions and continued concerns over the pandemic. Many employees have been forced to go on leave or lost their jobs because of the suspension of operations or closure of business establishments.
The island was reopened to tourists from provinces in Western Visayas on June 16 and from other areas starting Oct. 1.
Business operators have also proposed opening to select foreign tourists by December, subject to approval by Philippine authorities.
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