Duterte reschedules visit, meeting with Boracay tourism stakeholders
In this March 11, 2020 photo, some tourists are taking photo in the colorful Boracay signage at the Caticlan Jetty Port.
Philstar.com/Rosette Adel

Duterte reschedules visit, meeting with Boracay tourism stakeholders

Rosette Adel (Philstar.com) - March 13, 2020 - 10:53am

BORACAY, Philippines— President Rodrigo Duterte moved his visit to Boracay to a later date, presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo said late Wednesday.

The visit which is a supposed meeting between the president and Boracay stakeholders was slated March 12. However, Panelo said it was postponed “in light of the recent developments and after careful review of the situation concerning the coronavirus disease in the country.

The Department of Tourism extended its appreciation to all the tourism stakeholders of Boracay and the Boracay Interagency Task Force who prepared for the planned visit of the president.

“The safety and well-being of tourists, tourism frontliners and citiziens remain the utmost priority of the DOT,” the tourism agency said in a statement.

“Tourism establishments, not only in Boracay Island, but in the different parts of the country are reminded to strictly implement the precautionary measures recommended by the Philippine Department of Health in light of the World Health Organization’s declaration that the COVID-19 is now a pandemic,” it added.

The tourism agency said that it would just make the announcement on the new schedule meeting of Duterte’s visit and meeting with tourism stakeholders once the information is made available to them.

Duterte has not yet visited Boracay since it reopened in October 2018.

Aside from meeting, the tourism stakeholders would “discuss ongoing and future steps to sustain and protect the gains during the island’s rehabilitation.” Duterte was also supposed to promote domestic tourism amid coronavirus outbreak.

Tourism Undersecretary Arthur Boncato said Boracay’s daily international tourists is “down to almost 1,000 or around 80% starting March. The island’s carrying capacity is 5,600.

“This time at the start of March that is really down to almost 1,000 that’s a some sort of decrease that it is real that is why we’re responding to it immediately,” Boncato said.

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