Tag Archives: Boracay

Philippine Department of Tourism (DOT) leads #SaveBoracay clean-up drive

BORACAY, AKLAN – On the first day of the Boracay rehabilitation, the Department of Tourism (DOT) led the first wave of clean-up drive along the stretch of Bulabog Beach as part of #SaveBoracay rehabilitation efforts.

Over 200 volunteers participated in the clean-up of the Bulabog Beach, the kite boarding and windsurfing playground of Boracay #SaveBoracay
Over 200 volunteers participated in the clean-up of the Bulabog Beach, the kite boarding and windsurfing playground of Boracay #SaveBoracay

More than 200 volunteers arrive from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR)’s Environmental Management Bureau, the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), the National Association of Independent Travel Agencies Boracay chapter, Caticlan Airport, resort employees and informal workers.

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DOT Secretary Wanda Tulfo-Teo got down on the ground to join the hundred of volunteers.

“The simple acts of throwing your trash properly and picking up rubbish you see goes along way as we go all out in rehabilitating Boracay,” said Teo.

The world’s best island according to Condé Nast Traveler, has temporarily closed its doors to tourists starting April 26 upon Proclamation No. 475 signed by President Rodrigo Duterte declaring the state of calamity of barangays Balabag, Manoc-manoc, and Yapak.

Volunteers from Brgy. Balabag, Southwest Travel and Tours, and employees of other government agencies also helped out during the clean-up.

According to DOT VI Regional Director Atty. Helen Catalbas, the Department thru the regional office is working double time on the plans laid out for the island and the region.

Among the plans are the launching of cruise tourism in other parts of Western Visayas Region, repair and repainting of pumpboats, accreditation campaign for compliant establishment, and massive training program.

Boracay White Beach on the first day of the closure
Boracay White Beach on the first day of the closure

Various training and seminar includes modules for local guiding, foreign language for Mandarin and Korean, international standards for hospitality service, tourist police, kulinarya training for rural community, tourist security and safety seminar, UNESCO World Heritage site guiding and preservation, tourist destination website development and upgrading, first aid and basic life support, disaster risk reduction management, tourism renovation and self-reinvention, safety and emergency response, and festival management.

Over 5,000 thank you cards were also handed out to local and foreign tourists leaving the island.

Also Read: Philippine Department of Tourism pursues alternative livelihood during Boracay ‘upgrading’

Philippine Department of Tourism pursues alternative livelihood during Boracay ‘upgrading’

BORACAY ISLAND, AKLAN – Over 56 billion pesos of tourist spending is at stake during the imminent Boracay Island rehabilitation and restoration but the Department of Tourism (DOT) is now collaborating with the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) to address the issue.

Boracay Island Paradise
Boracay Island Paradise

DOT Secretary Wanda Tulfo-Teo recognizes the possible effects including job displacements and economic dislocation of the the current upgrading of Boracay and is already looking at alternative means of livelihood and employment.

“We are aware of the situation of Boracay but we cannot just discount the thousands of employees and their families and the economic contribution of the island through its tourist receipts and job employment. We have to strike a balance between the environment and the economy,” Teo said.

Boracay Island (check list of hotels) welcomed over two million local and foreign tourists last year for a 16 percent growth from 2016. Boracay also employed the most for the Western Visayas region last year with 17,737 direct tourism employment accounting to 66 percent of the whole region.

DOT Regional Director for Western Visayas Atty. Helen Catalbas shared that most of the workers at the island are from other places like Cebu, Negros, Manila, and other provinces in Luzon.

The DOT Regional Office VI is already in coordination with other local government units in efforts to relocate employees that may be laid off during the Boracay rehabilitation.

“Those who will be affected can work with the demolition of illegal structures and the construction of the improved sewage system and road infrastructure,” Teo added.

Hotel and tourism establishments can for the meantime polish and update their facilities and manpower during the reported Boracay upgrading.

Also See: The Complete Boracay Travel Guide
DOT is also studying tax holidays and incentives for those business and employees affected. Skills development trainings and seminars for front liners and other tourism ambassadors are also being planned.

Philippine Department of Tourism pursues alternative livelihood during Boracay 'upgrading'
Philippine Department of Tourism pursues alternative livelihood during Boracay ‘upgrading’

The DOT holds regular consultation meetings with tourism stakeholders including tour operators and travel agency associations in pacifying the effects to the domestic and international tourist market.

Meanwhile, DOT remains steadfast in its support to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in its pursue to solve the environment woes of the island and the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) in apprehension of those who violated and abused the law.

The tourism department is also gearing up to the launching of the ‘new’ Boracay after its renovation and upgrading.

“After the six-month timeline set by President Duterte, we look forward to introducing to the world the ‘new’ and improved Boracay,” Teo added.

Philippine Gov’t action to restore Boracay in 6 months

The Department of Tourism (DOT) enjoins the public in a comprehensive intra-agency effort to save Boracay Island in Malay, Aklan from further degradation caused by seawater pollution in some of its areas, and restore it to its natural condition that earned it? the accolade, the “World’s Best Island.”

Restore Boracay
Restore Boracay

This early, the DOT imparts its word of appreciation to the stakeholders who have extended support and cooperation to the clean-up program (#saveboracay), a joint action between the DOT, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, and the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), in compliance to directive of President Rodrigo R. Duterte regain the paradise in six months.

To prevent continued harmful disposal of wastewater into the seas surrounding the island’s three barangays (Balabag, Manoc-Manoc and Yapac), the DOT is imposing a six-month moratorium on accreditation during which resorts and other establishments must acquire and maintain individual water treatment facility, as well as connect to the centralized sewerage system.

Boracay Island
Boracay Island

The DOT, in coordination with the DENR and DILG, is determined to press appropriate criminal and administrative charges against those establishments/operators responsible for the seawater contamination in violation of environmental and tourism laws.

While there is no definitive plan to place Boracay under a state-of-calamity or to close Boracay to international and domestic visitors altogether, the DOT shares the optimism of well-meaning and law-abiding stakeholder operators that Boracay Island will be completely restored in six month-period.

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International travel guide recognizes Boracay as top destination

Boracay has, for the third year running, topped the list of TripAdvisor.com’s Travelers’ Choice 2013 – Best Beaches in Asia 2013, according to the Dept. of Tourism Wednesday.

Boracay Beach ResortsTripAdvisor, one of the world’s popular online travel guides, conducts regular polls of favorite vacation places and properties through its Travelers’ Choice Awards.

Known for its white sand beach, Boracay was described as “a stunningly beautiful white powder sand beach [with] crystal clear, warm water that you can laze on for days on end.”

The Secret Lagoon of El Nido, Palawan also made it to the list of 25 great beaches in Asia at number 9 as well as Boracay’s Yapak Beach at number 10.

Secret Lagoon Beach was tagged for its “wonderful view”, while Yapak Beach (Puka Shell Beach) was acclaimed for its “big waves.”

Previously coming in as second in the 2012 Best Beaches in the World Awards, Boracay has consistently made it to the poll results of the travel website.

In 2012, Boracay was also cited by Travel + Leisure Magazine in its World’s Best Awards as the Best Island Destination and one of the Top 10 Best Beach Party Destinations by Cheapflights.com.

Boracay’s protection and preservation is a main concern being addressed by both national and local authorities and stakeholders.

“In order for us to continue reaping the benefits of development and great publicity, we ought to seriously address the environment challenges,” Tourism Secretary Ramon Jimenez said.

“We call on all stakeholders to come as one in preserving our country’s jewels,” he added.

The Philippines also recently made it to the Lonely Planet Traveller’s Choice 2013 and rated as one of the Top 10 popular destinations to go to for meeting locals (ranked 6th) and value for money (ranked 8th). Continue reading International travel guide recognizes Boracay as top destination