The reopening of Boracay Island in Western Visayas “gives the the country’s tourism industry a glimmer of hope, especially for those counting on tourism to survive,” said Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat in a DOT Facebook Post dated October 2.
The world-famous white sand beach located in Malay, Aklan in Panay Island was reopened to tourist October 1 and the tourism agency considered its reopening as something that ‘heralds safe, gradual revival of Philippine tourism.”
“What could be a better way to herald the revival of Philippine tourism than the reopening of the world-renowned Boracay Island?” declared Sec. Puyat.
Puyat said that the reopening of Boracay is a “crucial first step for domestic tourism recovery, providing the momentum for domestic tourism all over the country.”
The tourism secretary noted that there were no coronavirus (COVID-19) cases on the island yet promised that government support will be in place to ensure that health and safety protocols are maintained stressing that the safety and well-being of tourists and residents remain as the top priority of the tourism agency.
Boracay Island has adopted an enhanced hygiene and safety protocols in entry points, accommodations and activities, said DOT.
The protocols were enforced by the tourism agency together with the Boracay Inter-Agency Task Force (BIATF), the Dept. of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Dept. of Interior and Local Government (DILG), Aklan Provincial Government, and Malay LGU.
“We advise all tourists to be on strict quarantine immediately after the PCR test and until the time of travel to the island. This is to help ensure that they will remain free of COVID-19 before they visit Boracay,” said Sec. Puyat.
Puyat reiterated that while the age restriction has been relaxed to allow travelers below 21 and above 60 years old, only those without underlying medical conditions and those with negative RT-PCR results will be allowed to enter the island through the Godofredo P. Ramos Airport in Caticlan.
Their RT-PCR test should be taken at least 48 hours before travel to the island and its negative test results should be submitted online, through http://aklan.gov.ph, for the approval of the Aklan provincial government.
Each traveler who is cleared to travel to the island will then be issued a unique personal QR code for monitoring. Moreover, travelers likewise need to have a confirmed booking in a DOT-accredited accommodation establishment.
The tourism chief added that while health and safety protocols have been put in place, the success of Boracay reopening will largely depend on one important factor: the compliance and cooperation of the island’s guests.
“We urge our visitors to be responsible tourists. Follow the guidelines, respect the rules. We can never be too complacent, even on vacation, we must adhere to the minimum health protocols. Let’s wear our mask when possible,” said Puyat.
See full post by the Dept. of Tourism here: https://bit.ly/2Gosp1Z
* Postcard perfect photos of the Boracay Island, including featured photo, are by Ilonggo photog Randy Javier Fadrigo.