Travel and Tourism

Boracay bar manager admits tourism hurt by COVID-19 outbreak

Jan Milo Severo - Philstar.com
Boracay bar manager admits tourism hurt by COVID-19 outbreak
The party continues in Epic Boracay.
Philstar.com / Jan Milo Severo

MANILA, Philippines — A general manager of a local bar in Boracay admitted that the island is suffering right now because of the novel corona virus disease (COVID-19) scare as tourist arrivals are getting low. 

In an interview with the media, including Philstar.com, during the recent press tour of the newly renovated The Tides Hotel Boracay and Epic bar, Epic General Manager Michael Garcia admitted that tourism is down right now in the island. 

“Medyo right now, the whole island is being hurt with the current situation. We have a crisis ongoing, but I don't think that it should stop there. We believe we could still cater (to) limited number of guests. Talagang kumonti siya,” Garcia said. 

According to him, Department of Tourism (DOT) data revealed that Boracay’s revenue is down by 37 percent as compared to last year's data.

“Do'n sa data ng DOT, from the island itself, comparative data versus 2019, it is 37 percent down according to (Tourism secretary Bernadette) Puyat. So malaki talaga,” he shared.

He pointed out that Chinese tourists, as well as Koreans, are the main tourists in the island for the past years, and the effect of the virus in their countries is really felt in Boracay tourism. 

“Kasi 'yung Chinese, if you start to know this market, sila 'yung dining crowd. They are the groups that actually eat, young mag-activities, ganyan sila. 'Yung mga Westerners, sila 'yung party crowd natin. Koreans are actually a combination of both,” Garcia bared.

When asked how they plan to still profit given the situation, Garcia said they need to continue promoting the island as still COVID-19 free.  

“Hopefully it (COVID-19 crisis) will be over soon," he said.

As of today, China still has the most COVID-19 infections with 80,754, while South Korea reportedly has 7,513.

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