The island of Boracay
is considered as one of the more prominent destinations in the Philippines
, and when the novel coronavirus hit the country, it suffered a great loss in revenue. With the enforcement of the enhanced community quarantine from March 17 to April 30 came the closure of the island to international and local tourists. This has caused a lot of hotels, tourist spots, and summer activities to temporarily stop their services.
Although the enhanced community quarantine has since been lifted and downgraded to a general community quarantine, people are still not allowed to take a dip in the sea. Still, the island is seeing a small revival of life as some establishments have been allowed to reopen. But whether one is a business owner, tourist, or resident of the island, everyone is still coming to grips with the pandemic’s effect on normal life and tourism in one of the most popular destinations in the Philippines
Billions Lost on Tourism
Due to COVID-19, the Western Visayas region missed over a million foreign and local tourists. Aklan alone is estimated to have lost PhP11.33 billion tourist receipts in the last two months. According to the Department of Tourism (DOT), the province was projected to earn PhP6.94 billion from international tourists and PhP4.39 billion from domestic travelers. The department based its estimates on tourist arrivals in Boracay during the same season last year.
Stranded Tourists and the New Island Life
the island. The tourists observe physical distancing protocols and are encouraged to only leave their rooms for food supply runs. Although red flags are placed along the shores, which means swimming and sunbathing are not allowed, people are still allowed to sit on the shore and watch the sunset. The islanders are also prohibited to roam around without a face mask.
Reopening of Stores and Resumption of Work
Adapting to the new normal, many businesses have reopened while following protocols to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Take-outs and delivery services are being promoted in restaurants, while retail shops and hardware stores limit the entry of customers in the establishments. Meanwhile, government workers and private sector employees have begun returning to offices but are still required to observe the 8:00 PM curfew. Residents and workers are also allowed to enter the Caticlan port while securing requirements such as health certifications and certificates of acceptance for check-up points.
Many experts around the world have discouraged international travel and since the island relies on foreign tourists, Boracay is expected to suffer more losses in the coming months.