Both business events and tourism stakeholders in the Philippines are taking pre-emptive steps to mitigate the impact of the possible closure of popular tourist hotspot Boracay.
Speaking at the recently-concluded IT&CM China, Rene Reyes, tourism attache, Philippine Department of Tourism in Shanghai, shared: âWe are speaking to private sector stakeholders to draw MICE business to other areas of the Philippines that can offer the same attractions as Boracay, such as the sand and the sea.â
Boracay is famed for its talcum-sand beaches and clear sea, which have recently been threatened by pollution from untreated wastewater. If not cleaned up within six months, the island faces a possible shutdown by Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte.
In response to Duterteâs instruction, environment secretary Roy Cimatuhas announced that the Department of Environment and Natural Resources will address Boracayâs wastewater and garbage problems.
While awaiting âofficial instructionsâ, the Philippine Department of Tourism will have dialogues with private sector operators to promote the countryâs other destinations, said Reyes.
The country is expecting some 3,700 new hotel rooms this year, with most hotels opening across Manila, as well as upcoming areas of Ilo Ilo and Baguio. Come 2019, Clark and Cebu will receive one new convention centre each.