Dahil isinara: Boracay lists lesser tourists arrivals in 2018

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As expected, tourist arrivals in Boracay fell in 2018 due to its six-month closure to tourists for environmental rehabilitation.

Department of Tourism Western Visayas head Helen Catalbas said tourist arrivals fell from nearly two million in 2017 to 930,363 in 2018.

Catalbas noted they had targeted 2.2 million tourist arrivals in 2018, before President Rodrigo Duterte ordered Boracay closed for environmental rehab.

But she said tourists who had planned to visit Boracay visited Malay, Aklan and other parts of Western Visayas instead.

“Many of those who were not able to go to Boracay went to Buruanga, went to New Washington, and went to Anini-y, Antique, even, and went to Guimaras,” she said.

Boracay was closed in late April and reopened in October. But by the time it reopened, only 19,000 tourists a day are allowed to visit the resort island.

Meanwhile, DOT chief regional statistician Reda Astronomia said tourism revenue fell from P56.4 billion in 2017 to P28 billion in 2018.

Catalbas noted a “tourist boom” in Buruanga, which is next to Malay, Aklan. The DOT-6 is speeding up training for the local government unit of Buruanga.