Boracay businesses see better times as PH lets tourists in | Inquirer News
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‘EXCITED’ TO WELCOME FOREIGN TRAVELERS

Boracay businesses see better times as PH relaxes tourists’ entry

/ 04:35 AM February 01, 2022

NEAR EMPTY: The normally busy Boracay Island is almost empty in this Jan. 30 photo, with fewer tourists on the island due to a swab test requirement even for vaccinated travelers. (Photo by JACK JARILLA)

ILOILO CITY, Iloilo, Philippines — Business operators on Boracay Island have welcomed the national government’s announcement that fully vaccinated foreign tourists from visa-free countries will be allowed in the country starting on Feb. 10.

The business operators, who have been reeling from an economic slump for nearly two years due to travel and quarantine restrictions amid the COVID-19 pandemic, hoped that the country’s borders would now continue to stay open to tourists.

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“We are very excited and are looking forward to the borders reopening again after two years, for leisure and business travel,” said Wesley van der Voort, president of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry Boracay, in a statement on Monday.

“We will work closely with the other agencies for the benefit of Boracay Island to ensure a stable reopening that will benefit all the stakeholders and the restoration of jobs and businesses,” he added.

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Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat on Friday announced that fully vaccinated foreign leisure travelers from visa-free countries will be allowed in the Philippines after the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases approved the proposal of the Department of Tourism.

Felix delos Santos, tourism officer of Malay town in Aklan province, where Boracay is located, said they have been preparing for foreign tourists since last year.

Longtime Boracay resident Julia Lervik, who operates a restaurant and a resort, said they were excited to have foreign tourists back in the country and on the island.

“Our economy desperately needs it! I hope we let studies and science lead the way and not fears. The new normal is that COVID is here to stay and we just must get used to living with it, and let life go back to almost normal,” she said.

Lervik said they had already received a few inquiries from foreign tourists and hoped the government would no longer change its entry rules as it could affect bookings and flights.

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TAGS: Boracay business operators, Boracay tourism, COVID-19 restrictions, travel restrictions
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