After the six months of temporary closure to rehabilitate the island, the beach capital of the Philippines once again welcomed tourists last month at the October 15 dry-run, and the official October 26 reopening.
What are the ways you can contribute to the ongoing culture of sustainable tourism for this renowned vacation destination? Here are a few important things you can do:
- Book only at hotels that comply with the environmental laws. Before planning your vacation, make sure to check if your preferred accommodation is among those duly accredited by the government here.
- Buy souvenirs and merchandises only from shops at their designated stations. Avoid hawkers and establishments (food stalls, souvenir shops, braiding, tattoo, etc.) setting up of umbrellas, tables, chairs, sun loungers at the white beach as these have been prohibited. It is important to be in the know of the new policies and support the locals who abide the 25+5 easement area. We’d like to preserve what Boracay is truly known for - its pristine white shores, right?
- Fire dancing, bonfires, smoking, drinking alcohol, and partying at the beachfront or no-build zone is a no-no.
- Enjoy some grilled island treats but not at the beachfront.
- Generally, smoking is not allowed.
- Furry friends are not allowed on the beach.
- Book activities with resorts only. Non-motorized water activities such as paraw sailing, kayaking, kite sailing were only allowed again last November 3 while motorized activities (diving, jet skiing, etc) have been temporarily suspended and prohibited until November 7, followed by island-hopping tours on November 15.
- Dispose of your garbage properly.
- Bring your own reusable bag, bottles, and straws. Imagine each tourist practicing this simple act and the effect it will create on the island. That’s already a collaborative achievement!
- Take e-tricycles instead of the banned single riding motorcycle commonly known as habal-habal.
Success and change don't happen overnight. However, with everyone taking part in this rehabilitation efforts preserve one of the world’s best islands, there’s a greater chance that Boracay and other leading island destination in the Philippines will last long.