Philippines engages private sector in lieu of Boracay’s anticipated closure

Cebu is one of the other destinations in the country suitable for business events

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: “We 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.”

Cebu (pictured above) is one of the other destinations in the country suitable for business events

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 Duterte’s instruction, environment secretary Roy Cimatuhas announced that the Department of Environment and Natural Resources will address Boracay’s wastewater and garbage problems.

While awaiting “official instructions”, the Philippine Department of Tourism will have dialogues with private sector operators to promote the country’s 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.

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