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Philippines tourism surges, despite last year’s Boracay closedown

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The Philippines Department of Tourism is reporting that 2018 closed with a 7.68% increase in tourist arrivals. Last year’s six month closure of tropical paradise Boracay, from May to October, seems to have little affect on the overall growth of the country’s tourism.

The island closed down last year for a ‘makeover’, mainly to tackle pollution after the country’s president described the island as a “cesspool.” Installation of water treatment systems and public utilities is now complete. However, strict rules apply to meet island capacity limits. Tourists must stay in hotels and guesthouses that are registered and have passed an environmental fitness test.

368 accommodation establishments have now been authorised for tourists to book. It gives the island more than 13,000 rooms.

Earlier this month, authorities lifted the moratorium on airline flights to the island in a move to boost visits. But restrictions on beach parties and even smoking on the beaches are being strictly enforced. Boracay is no longer the party island is once was.

Last year, The Philippines registered 7.1 million international tourist arrivals, a record surpassing 6,620,908 trips in 2017.

The general tourism narrative is that travellers switched to other Philippine beach destinations like Cebu and Siargao. Meanwhile, for the first five months of 2019, the country welcomed 3,489,270 visitors, which reflect a 9.76% increase over the same period last year.

SOURCE: Philippines News Agency

 

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