DOT to impose tourist arrival quota on post-rehab Boracay
An official of the Department of Tourism (DOT) on Thursday said the inter-agency task force planned to limit visitors coming into Boracay after finishing the rehabilitation in six months.
“We are going to have to control the number of people entering the island,” Tourism Assistant Secretary Frederick Alegre said in a press briefing in Malacanang.
The official said the quota was similar to the system used for the Subterranean River in Palawan which has a 2,000 daily capacity limit and mandatory on-line registration and walk-in visitors were no longer allowed.
He said the same quota system was also enforced in Mount Apo.
“This is not new and the interagency task force will do the same thing for Boracay when we resume operations,” he said.
In 2017, tourist arrival into the island reached 2.1 million.The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) is currently conducting a study to update the carrying capacity of Boracay island which was last done in 2007.
“But then and only even without the carrying capacity, looking at what is happening now in Boracay wherein illegal structure are already encroaching easements and wetlands and forestlands and then the garbage problem has been a tremendous, this has been becoming our parameters that it increased,” he added.
“The carrying capacity now will determine the sustainability of the rehabilitation we will be doing in Boracay kasi kapag hindi natin ginawa iyong (because if don’t do the) carrying capacity na requirements, baka naman baka after nitong six months bumalik na naman iyong dating sitwasyon (it would probably revert to its previous situation after six months),” he pointed out.
Leones explained the cap would serve as future guide on how many tourists should be accommodated by the island, and how many developments should be allowed.
“What is critical here is the rehabilitation first and then the carrying capacity will set the threshold and limit on what development should be allowed in the Boracay Island,” he said.