DOT to limit Boracay tourists
Department of Tourism (DOT) Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said the department will limit the tourists visiting Boracay starting October 26 during its soft opening following the results of the study being done in the island.
Puyat said that 19 scientists from the University of the Philippines were sent to Boracay for two months during its rehabilitation to study the holding capacity of the island.
The studies showed that the island could only hold up to 19,200 tourists in a month to maintain cleanliness of the area.
With the results, the DOT has decided to limit the number of tourist arrivals to a maximum of 6,400 per day.
Puyat said this is expected since the rehabilitation of Boracay is still underway and limiting the tourists would help regulate the island as phase 2 and phase 3 of the rehabilitation continues.
Phase 2 is expected to be finished on April 2019 while the phase 3 is estimated to be completed on December 2019.
According to Puyat, the beach side of Boracay is now clean and rehabilitated as establishments have been prohibited to place even chairs or tables along the beach.
However, the roads are still being built or repaired, which is one of the reasons why the number of tourists must be limited in order to control both the vehicular and human traffic.
Currently, only 25 establishments have been allowed to operate in Boracay with a total of 2,063 rooms.
“Without 100 percent compliance, they (establishments) will not be allowed to operate. There is no compromise,” said Puyat.
Establishments wishing to operate in Boracay must obtain permits from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Department of Interior and Local Government, and DOT.
“Some establishments have asked me if they can operate with 75 percent compliance and my answer will always be no,” said Puyat.
Meanwhile, after Boracay, Puyat said the DOT would also like to conduct studies in other tourist spots in the Philippines such as in La Union, Bohol, and Palawan.
Puyat said the DOT would like to identify the tourist capacities of major tourist destinations in order to preserve the natural state of these sites.
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