Boracay closure has ‘massive, long-standing’ implications, groups warn
Boracay stakeholders presscon
Posted by Ryan Leagogo on Wednesday, March 21, 2018
The closure of Boracay would harm the entire Philippine tourism industry with “massive and long-lasting repercussions,” private sector groups warned on Thursday.
Instead of closing down the world-renowned tropical island, the groups appealed for the government to give them 60 days – from April to May – to undertake individual clean up and rehabilitation in their own properties.
In a joint statement read in a press conference, the Hotel Sales and Marketing Association, Philippine Tour Operators Association Inc., Philippine Travel Agencies Association, and Tourism Congress of the Philippines agreed to Boracay’s recovery from apparent deterioration but rejected moves to shut down the resort island.
“Yes to rehabilitation, but no to closure. Boracay is the centerpiece of Philippine Tourism and closure of the island will harm the entire Philippine Tourism Industry, with massive and long-lasting repercussions,” the groups asserted.
“The fact that Boracay is portrayed as an environmental disaster will speak not just of the island, but of the Philippines as a destination as a whole, because if it can happen to the number one product of the country, then it can happen to the rest of our tourism offerings,” they added.
They pointed out that “only properties and entities found to have violated environmental and zoning regulations” should be closed by the government.
According to the groups, the government must consider giving them the chance to carry out individual clean up and rehabilitation for 60 days before it decides to close down the tropical island if it finds their efforts ineffective.
“An assessment of remedies put into place by the stakeholders (would) be undertaken by the government agencies concerned prior to the end of the 60-day allowance,” the groups said.
“If efforts made are not to enough, then and only then will a closure be effected. If timelines are followed, said closure to happen in June 2018, in time for the so-called Habagat Season,” they added. /kga
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