Weddings, Mice spill over from Boracay

RESORTS in Mactan are anticipating transfers of bookings for weddings and other meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions (Mice) activities from Boracay to Cebu, aside from the influx of leisure tourists.

Boracay Island will be closed to the public starting on April 26 to pave the way for a six-month rehabilitation.

Mia Sy, public relations and marketing communications manager of Crimson Resort and Spa, said they’ve had inquiries for bookings and events that were supposed to be held in Boracay.

Cassandra Cuevas, director for communications of Shangri-La Mactan Resort and Spa, said the resort is expecting high occupancy for April 26 onwards, and most of May.

She added there have been inquiries for weddings and other events, too.

Boracay Island is one of the premier beach destinations for weddings and incentive travel in the country. With the upcoming temporary closure of the island, event organizers would need to look for alternative locations.

But Tourism Secretary Wanda Teo said in a report that tourists on the island before April 26 and booked in hotels and resorts for a few more days beyond the end of the month would be allowed to stay. Afterwards, no new bookings will be admitted.

The Hotels, Resort and Restaurants Association of Cebu (HRRAC) earlier said that city hotels and resorts are prepared to welcome transfer-bookings of guests from Boracay to Cebu and Bohol, especially this summer.

HRRAC president Carlo Suarez said while they are saddened by the temporary closure of Boracay, its rehabilitation would mean longevity of the island and preservation of its natural resources.

This would also disperse tourists and allow them to discover other equally interesting island destinations in the country.

Meanwhile, the Department of Tourism (DOT) recently welcomed’s citation of the Philippines as one of the hottest spots in Asia this year.

The article “The Five Spots In Asia That Are Booming With Tourists In 2018”, underscored the country’s improved connectivity and infrastructure as the factors for the increased tourism interest. aligned the Philippines with the continent’s must-visit destinations Japan, Malaysia, Indonesia, and South Korea.

“To be lined up with the region’s tourism powerhouse is a testament to the resiliency of the people and the country’s resolve to promote the Philippines as a safe and fun destination,” said Teo, in a statement.

According to the latest tourism figures, the country welcomed 1.4 million international visitors from January to February, which is 16.15 percent higher compared to the 1.2 million for the same period in 2017.

DOT said Philippine tourism even bested the average tourism growth of Asia and the Pacific, which is at six percent, and Southeast Asia at eight percent, according to the latest United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) World Tourism Barometer.
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