Flight moratorium lifting to spur Boracay tourism

SUSTAIN-ABLE TOURISM. Tourism Secretary Bernadette Puyat welcomes the move to spread out the arrivals of chartered flights in Boracay to proect the island from overtourism. (SunStar File)

THE Department of Tourism (DOT) saw the release of the Civil Aeronautic Board’s (CAB) new guidelines on the conduct of commercial air transportation serving Boracay Island as a welcome development among tourism stakeholders of the island.

“We share our stakeholders’ goal of ensuring a thriving and vibrant tourism industry in Boracay and the lifting of the moratorium on all new and additional charter flights to Kalibo and Caticlan will facilitate this. And with these guidelines in place, we are assured that carrying capacity is strictly enforced by the authorities,” said DOT Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat, citing CAB’s plan to spread out the arrivals of the chartered flights and strictly enforce a 30-day application notice prior to the actual date of charter operations.

The DOT said it supports the board’s decision to bar the entry of aircraft exceeding the 200-seat capacity.

Moreover, as this move opens the island once again to more tourists, Puyat issued an appeal to those planning to visit to be more circumspect and considerate of the environment.

“We have seen what overtourism has done to the island, and that is something that we cannot afford to happen again. We can’t stress enough how fun it is in Boracay, but we can make it more fun if we are able to preserve it to be enjoyed for generations to come,” the tourism chief said.

As the Boracay Inter-agency Task Force (BIATF) continues to enforce a “No Compliance, No Permit” policy in the island, the DOT, on its part, remained steadfast in monitoring violations in the island.

“As the Philippines takes a leadership role towards sustainability, it is imperative that all government agencies work hand in hand to sustain the gains that we have made. The rehabilitation of the island has been remarkable, and it is a collective effort of everyone involved—private stakeholders, residents and line agencies alike,” said Puyat.

Based on the July 11, 2019 bulletin of the BIATF, a total of 365 accommodation establishments have been given DOT accreditation providing a total of 13,142 rooms. (PR)


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