NCR tourists account for bulk of Boracay arrivals
Data from the Malay, Aklan municipal tourism office showed that visitor arrivals in Boracay, utilizing Caticlan as a port of entry, stood at 1,611 from Nov. 1 to 17.
The STAR/Miguel De Guzman, file
NCR tourists account for bulk of Boracay arrivals
Catherine Talavera (The Philippine Star) - November 22, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Tourists from the National Capital Region (NCR) accounted for the bulk of tourist arrivals in Boracay in the first two weeks of November, local government data showed.

Data from the Malay, Aklan municipal tourism office showed that visitor arrivals in Boracay, utilizing Caticlan as a port of entry, stood at 1,611 from Nov. 1 to 17.

Visitor arrivals from NCR accounted for 71.6 percent of the total, or 1,154 arrivals.

This was followed by visitor arrivals from the province of Aklan with 406 arrivals, or 25 percent of the total.

Boracay opened its doors to domestic tourists, including those from Metro Manila, on Oct. 1.

The Department of Tourism (DOT) announced earlier that it will provide a total of P8 million to the provincial government of Aklan to cover the cost of reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) testing for the island’s 4,000 tourism workers, as it expects more local tourist arrivals in the coming months.

This will be through the Tourism Promotions Board (TPB), its marketing and promotions arm.

“By supporting RT-PCR testing among workers in Boracay, the department reiterates that safety is the unparalleled priority in reopening domestic tourism. We want to restore confidence amongst travelers and protect their health and well-being as our tourism workers get their livelihood back,” Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said earlier.

Tourists traveling to Boracay are required to have a negative RT-PCR result within 48 to 72 hours before travel.

Puyat said earlier that while the age restriction has been relaxed to allow travelers below 21 and above 60 years old, only those without underlying medical conditions and those with negative RT-PCR results will be allowed to enter the island through the Godofredo P. Ramos Airport in Caticlan.

“A confirmed booking in a DOT-accredited accommodation establishment, air tickets and the negative test results should be submitted online, through, for the approval of the Aklan provincial government,” the DOT said earlier.

Only accommodation establishments that have secured a certificate of authority to operate (CAO) from the DOT will be allowed to accept guests.

Data from the Western Visayas unit of the DOT show that there are a total 250 accommodation establishments in Boracay that have been issued a CAO as of Oct. 21.

This translates to a total of 5,723 rooms.

Puyat stressed earlier that the reopening of the island plays a critical role in the restart of tourism in destinations across the country.

“All the other tourist destinations, even if they are under MGCQ (modified general community quarantine), are still hesitant to open to tourists outside of their province. So, all eyes are on Boracay, how the protocols will be in place,” Puyat said earlier.

Apart from Boracay, other tourist destinations have also started or are planning to open their doors to tourists from Metro Manila, such as Baguio City and Ilocos Sur.

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