Still no parties in Boracay
When it resumed operation in October 2018 after undergoing rehabilitation for six months, partying, particularly along the beach was not allowed.
Philstar.com/Rosette Adel, file
Still no parties in Boracay
Catherine Talavera (The Philippine Star) - September 29, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Boracay Island may be ready to accept local tourists this week, but it is still expected to ban parties.

When it resumed operation in October 2018 after undergoing rehabilitation for six months, partying, particularly along the beach was not allowed.

People were also prohibited from drinking and smoking in public and only a limited number of tourists was allowed to enter the island daily.

The restrictions at the time were intended to sustain the cleanliness of the country’s top tourist destination.

This time, Boracay will still operate on a limited capacity and restrict holding of parties in compliance with the health protocols imposed by the government to prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 or COVID-19

The Department of Tourism (DOT) has allowed 397 accommodation establishments on the island to accept local tourists starting on Oct. 1.

Crowd moderation

Boracay has been cited as an example of a tourist destination with crowd moderation by the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC).

Crowd moderation is among the measures that will be imposed to ensure sustainability in the recovery of the global tourism sector.

In its recent report titled “To Recover and Beyond: The Future of Travel and Tourism in the Wake of COVID-19,” the WTTC identified sustainability as among the trends that would lead the way to recovery, especially in the communities.

“Destination-readiness will be essential to ensure the long-term sustainability of local communities as well as cultural and natural assets,” the WTTC said.

It said authorities in highly vulnerable destinations might consider limiting capacity.

“For instance, to ensure Boracay to remain as a pristine destination following its rehabilitation, the government of the Philippines reduced the number of rooms as well as the number of day-trips to the island,” the WTTC said.

Boracay started implementing a carrying capacity after its six-month closure in 2018, with only 19,215 tourists allowed on the island at a certain time and 6,405 tourists per day.

The island is expecting to accommodate an even lower number of tourists when it opens to domestic tourists this week, to ensure physical distancing.

Only accommodation establishments accredited by the DOT are allowed to operate and at a limited capacity.

To avoid crowds, the WTTC said businesses and destinations are seen to develop more remote offerings and promote non-traditional destinations.

It said digital solutions would be integrated to support crowd management and physical distancing in top attractions such as theme parks and museums.

Apart from sustainability, the WTTC identified demand evolution, health and hygiene, and innovation and digitization as among the other trends that would lead the recovery of the travel and tourism sectors

“Traveller preferences and behaviors have shifted toward the familiar, predictable, and trusted.

Domestic and regional vacations and the outdoors will reign in the short-term, with tourism businesses and destinations already adapting,” the WTTC said emphasizing the shift in demand among travelers.

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