By Boy Ryan Zabal
MALAY, Aklan – Tourism undersecretary Arturo Boncato Jr. said authorities will continue to sustain the government’s rehabilitation efforts in Boracay Island here.
Boncato added the task force in Boracay is on its way of fulfilling its commitment in the rehabilitation period as the Department of Public Works and Highway’s road constructions in the island will be completed before May next year.
“We are looking into several areas, primarily in enforcing the existing laws and regulations all over the island. We have a steady decrease in the number of violators since the opening last October,” he said.
He added the Department of Tourism (DOT) is coordinating with tour officials in producing information materials written in different languages to spread the regulations of the island to local and international tourists.
“We have to strengthen the communication for foreign markets for them to understand why we have to implement the efforts to protect and preserve Boracay Island,” Boncato said.
The DOT was recently recognized by the prestigious Japan Tourism Award for its “socially advanced initiatives” in the rehabilitation of the island by pursuing a cohesive effort to implement its physical, environmental and social recovery.
The island also reclaimed its title as the Best Island in Asia for 2019 by the Conde Nast Traveller magazine a year after it was temporarily closed for rehabilitation.
Boncato, who handles the agency’s tourism regulation, coordination and resource generation, said Boracay’s tourism receipts posted P45.8 billion in the first nine months this year. Over 380 accommodation establishments with 14,111 rooms were accredited by the task force.
“We have an average of 5,696 tourists arriving a day. It is a steady flow in the number of tourists coming in Boracay since the reopening. The arrivals are driven primarily by foreign tourists from Asian markets – China and Korea. We hope the establishments will take advantage of the busy season in the last quarter,” added Boncato.(With a report from Akean Forum/PN)