[UPDATE: The Philippines has just announced that it will implement the 6-month closure of Boracay, set to begin on 26 April 2018.]
Ah Boracay, just the thought of this beautiful island conjures up images of powdery white sand beaches, sparkling blue water and no rush hour traffic. What's not to love about this island? ? It's no wonder that it's named as one of Asia's best islands in 2017!
Unfortunately, Boracay is planning to take a break from tourists when the Filipino government announced an unprecedented six-month closure of the island, set to begin in April until September 2018 ?Credit: Giphy
The government's decision to temporarily ban tourists stems from the fact that Boracay is becoming too crowded ?
With over 2.1 million tourists last year alone, this island has been battling with alarming issues pertaining to its environment, traffic congestion, sewage system, waste management, and illegal construction that could seriously jeopardise its award-winning status ?
According to the government, permanent residents of the island are allowed to come and go, but local and foreign tourists will be blocked at the mainland ferry port starting April 26 (yikes!) ?
The nearby airports of Caticlan and Kalibo will continue to operate, but Philippine Airlines and Cebu Pacific Air have confirmed that they will temporarily stop their flights to Boracay and will offer refunds and rebooking.
#HHWT Tip: If you are travelling with them, we advise that you contact them and ensure you keep all your receipts to support your claim.
While the business community has mixed reactions about the temporary closure of Boracay, some have said that it was about time the government did something to address the problem.
The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Departments of the Interior and Tourism and local authorities are currently working together to implement the temporary ban on Boracay tourism.
Some of the goals highlighted by the agencies involve the construction of a better sewer system, clearing illegal structures and inspecting buildings and businesses throughout the island.
#HHWT Tip: Though an actual date hasn’t been confirmed as the government is still working on it, we do advise travellers to check with their respective airlines and boat/ferry operators on the status.
If you're planning to go to Boracay soon, we think it's best that you skip this island for now ☹️
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