AKLAN, Philippines – In the first 3 months of 2019, world-famous Boracay Island has already attracted 619,934 tourists.
According to the Malay Municipal Tourism Office, this was the number of Boracay visitors from January 1 to April 15, 2019.
The figure is some 67,000 visitors more than the 553,074 tourists who visited the island around the same time in 2018.
Of the 1st-quarter-of-2019 visitors, 357,041 (or 57%) were foreigners, 240,745 were local tourists, and 22,148 were overseas Filipino workers.
From April 1 to April 15, the Malay Municipal Tourism Office tallied 107,218 tourists. Of the figure, foreigners accounted for 44% or 47,450 arrivals.
Majority of foreign visitors are from China and Korea, accounting for 80% of the total number of foreigners visiting the island.
The rest of the foreign tourists hail from the United States, Taiwan, Russia, Japan, and the United Kingdom.
The government is upgrading Boracay Island to welcome more tourists and to address environmental and infrastructure issues. (READ: Boracay: Paradise reborn?)
The island reopened to tourists on October 26, 2018 after it was closed for 6 months, by order of President Rodrigo Duterte who called the tourism hot spot a “cesspool.” (READ: INSIDE STORY: How Duterte decided on Boracay closure)
The government also limited the number of tourists who could visit Boracay Island daily, even restricting the number of hotels that could accommodate visitors.
The Department of Tourism reported that Boracay Island currently has 12,083 hotel rooms and 339 accredited establishments for accomodations.
In part due to cruise ship arrivals, the island has seen a significant increase in the number of tourists in recent years.
In 2018, the island welcomed 941,068 tourists. In 2017, before the closure, it drew two million tourists. – Rappler.com