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‘Worst visitor arrivals in Boracay’

Elijah Felice Rosales (The Philippine Star) - May 2, 2021 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Boracay recorded its ”worst” visitor arrivals last month as residents of Metro Manila were barred from traveling while the region remains under stricter community quarantine.

Records at the Malay tourism office show that there were only 1,217 tourists in Boracay from April 1 to 25.

About nine in every 10 people who visited Boracay in April are from Western Visayas.

In March, Boracay welcomed 17,400 tourists, the highest since it reopened in October last year.

The island received 2,630 visitors in October; 4,154 in November; 15,307 in December; 11,898 in January, and 16,487 in February.

Prior to the lockdown imposed in various areas due to the COVID-19 pandemic, hundreds of thousands of tourists visited Boracay during summer.

The Malay municipal government said there were 222,230 tourists in Boracay in April 2019, an increase of 87 percent from 118,645 during the same period in 2018.

The Malay tourism office said local businesses are hoping Metro Manila would be downgraded to general community quarantine (GCQ) in May to allow more local tourists to travel outside their region.

“We are waiting for the new travel guidelines... hoping for ease in travel restrictions when the National Capital Region declares GCQ,” it said.

The tourism office said the island is ”desperate” to accept tourists when it is safe to travel again.

”Boracay generally depends on tourism. The island needs tourists to economically survive. Tourists mean business to Boracay. It is an apparent necessity,” it said.

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