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Boracay to transform into a family-oriented destination

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BORACAY ISLAND – The Department of Tourism Western Visayas (DOT 6) is eyeing to make this island a “family-oriented” destination when it reopens less than three months from now.

“We are looking at a more family-oriented destination. Before, the image of Boracay was that of a party place,” said DOT-6 Director Helen Catalbas.

“I suppose, there will still be parties but not as spectacular as before,” she added.

Prior to the closure of the island from tourists last April 26, Catalbas recalled that night life usually starts at 9 p.m or 10 p.m until the wee hours or until dawn the next day.

“I think it is not going to be the same way because we are looking at not only a new Boracay but a new and better Boracay,” she said.

When asked if they would impose a curfew in the island, she said they were leaving the decision to the local government unit.

“I think they will do the pronouncement later but not in my level,” she said.

However, since they are pushing for a wholesome family destination, Catalbas said they are considering imposing curfew as “one of the options that we should suggest.” (PNA)


Cruise ships line-up for Boracay’s October reopening

Three months before Boracay Island reopens, some cruise ships are already lined up for visits.

Helen Catalbas, Regional Director of the Department of Tourism in Western Visayas (DOT-6), on Thursday said that about five to eight cruise ships are expected to visit starting from the island’s reopening on October 26 up to next year.

The Royal Caribbean Cruises, Star Cruises and Celebrity Cruises are among those that Catalbas mentioned during the interview.

The cruise ships have carrying capacity of 1,700 up to 4,500 people, she said.

The visit of cruise ships to this island will be considered in the ongoing study being conducted to determine the island’s carrying capacity, she added.

“All these things shall be taken into consideration by the group that is doing the carrying capacity study. We are to meet with them for interview and we are going to supply them with all the data on the cruise ships, number of rooms, tourist arrivals and number of tourism establishments on the island, everything that they need to know” she said.

However, Catalbas said during their Wednesday’s meeting among stakeholders, a concern was raised in line with the coral reefs that may be destroyed due to the ship’s dropping its anchor.

Catalbas said that she already inquired from Jim Sampulna, Regional Director of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources in Western Visayas, about the concern.

“He (Sampulna) said that corals thrive in shallow waters, cruise ships are dropping anchor at the deeper side of the waters between Boracay and Caticlan. It’s not likely that (the) anchorage of cruise ships for a few hours could cause damage to corals,” she said.

Prior to the closure of this island, DOT-6 has been promoting cruise tourism here.

Last January, four cruise ships visited the island, bringing in some 12,927 passengers and 6,353 crew members

In February, three cruise ships docked in Boracay with 6,246 passengers and 3,168 crew members. (PNA)

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