The island will accept a limited number of visitors from 26 October
One of the most popular holiday destinations in the world, Boracay, is about to reopen.
The iconic island of the Philippines was shut to visitors for six months because an influx of tourists was severely harming its environment. Now, the country’s government has decided to relaunch with a “soft opening”.
But, there is a catch — the number of travellers able to visit will be limited and the island will ban parties that last for 24 hours for good.
In general, the island wants to change its reputation with the aim of targeting families and couples instead of heavy partygoers.
“No more party island 24/7 and loud music,” said the secretary of the department of tourism, Berna Romulo-Puyat.
“No smoking and drinking by the beach and as a matter of policy, only environment-friendly and safety compliant facilities will be allowed to operate on the island.”
Trying to make Boracay “a haven for health wellness, soft adventure and authentic Filipino cuisine”, will still need some time until the area is fully recovered.
“Six months is not enough to try to bring back the natural splendour of Boracay, regarded by many as one of the best beach destinations in the world,” said Romulo-Puyat.
The opening will, therefore, come in three phases with the first starting in two weeks. Only a few hotels will be allowed to operate with about 5,000 beds prepared for visitors in total.
The whole process of recovery should be finalised by the end of next year.
“It’s a long and arduous process, but if there is one thing we are going to guarantee our trade partners and our visitors, you will all surely experience a ‘better Boracay,’” Romulo-Puyat added.
The island was closed in April after president Rodrigo Duterte, outraged by “environmental violations”, called the location a “cesspool”.