More foreign tourists enter Boracay
ILOILO CITY—Tourist arrivals on Boracay Island continue to recover amid relaxed travel restrictions and the entry of foreign tourists.
At least 53,787 tourists visited the popular island-resort since the start of February until Wednesday, according to data from the municipal tourism office of Malay in Aklan where Boracay is located.
These included 242 foreign tourists with the most visitors coming from the United States (85), Germany (25) and the United Kingdom (21), the municipal tourism office said.
For the past week, tourist arrivals reached around 3,000 daily, the same data showed.
Fully COVID-19 vaccinated foreign tourists from visa-free countries have been allowed to visit the country starting Feb. 10.
Domestic tourists who are fully vaccinated could also enter Boracay by just presenting their vaccination certificates or cards aside from a confirmed hotel booking.
Free COVID-19 booster shots are also provided by the government for all tourists on the island. Still a long way
The island, however, is still far from reaching the number of visitors it registered before the coronavirus pandemic struck in March 2020.
Data from the Malay tourism office shows that in 2019, about 2 million tourists entered the island, half of whom were foreign travelers. By the end of 2020, a total of 334,455 tourists visited the island, most of whom came in January before Boracay closed its border to leisure travel.
Tourist arrivals reached a pandemic-high of 113,596 in December last year but slumped to 35,799 last month due to reimposed strict travel restrictions brought by a surge in cases attributed to the Omicron variant.
The operation of a number of the island’s business establishments also remains suspended due to the lack of tourists, the island’s source of income. —NESTOR P. BURGOS JR.
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