The much-awaited reopening of Boracay is fast approaching. Finally, after a 6-month shutdown, the popular island destination will again welcome visitors to its white sandy shores starting on October 26. It was closed on April 26 due to environmental degradation.
Of course, the tourists are excited to set foot on their favorite island getaway again. The establishments’ workers must be relieved to have their jobs back, too. The government departments that are part of the task force must be on tenterhooks by now, hoping that everything will go according to plan. The rest of us are curious about many things.
You have probably heard numerous updates in the news about how the rehabilitation of Boracay is progressing, so you know more or less what to expect: better beaches, roads, facilities etc. What shouldn’t you expect when Boracay reopens, though?
10 Things You Shouldn’t Expect Once Boracay Reopens
10. The same amount of tourists
Unlimited visitors are not allowed on the island anymore. Only 6,405 visitors are allowed daily. Authorities will strictly implement the carrying capacity on the island, which is 55,000 people – tourists and residents combined. If you want to know more about the carrying capacity, check out the study here.
9. Parties on the beach
Drinking and smoking in public places, especially along the beach shores, is now prohibited. In fact, even setting up of beach umbrellas, tables and chairs near the beach is no longer allowed.
Labor Day weekend used to attract as many as 70,000 tourists, which overshoots the island’s carrying capacity.
7. A ton of activity choices on the beach
Activities will now be limited on the beach. Some of the activities that will no longer be allowed on the beach include fire-dancing, massages, and tattoos. However, they will still be allowed in private establishments.
6. Water sports
Diving and other water sports are currently suspended, as well.
Casinos are not allowed to operate on the island.
4. Fewer incoming flights
Airlines will have fewer daily flights to the island. The Department of Tourism (DoT) has already asked various airlines to limit their flights to the island, again to maintain the carrying capacity. So far, Philippines Airlines has responded to DoT’s request and has decreased its daily flights from Boracay to only one (they previously had six daily flights for Boracay).
3. Your favorite hotels
Your favorite hotels might not reopen yet. So far, only 25 hotels have complied with government regulations and will be allowed to reopen. They have 2,063 rooms available, so tourists are advised to only book with compliant establishments.
Single-use plastics are now banned in Boracay. The Malay municipal government has passed an ordinance prohibiting the use of single-use or disposable plastic items by hotels, resorts, restaurants, and other establishments; so make sure you bring reusable bags, straws, cups etc. to avoid paying a fine.
1. A perfect island
Rehabilitation works will continue even after the reopening, so there will still be ongoing construction. Do not expect everything to be fully rehabilitated yet. According to the DoT, they have only finished the first phase. The second phase will not be completed until April 2019 and the third phase until December 2019.
Despite all of the changes and limitations on the island, there is no doubt that the rehabilitated Boracay will still live up to people’s expectations. After a 6-month hiatus or “beauty rest”; the island’s sand, sea and surroundings will surely be more beautiful. Let us please make sure it stays that way.
When are you planning to visit the island again?