Despite Boracay resort being closed Philippines sees solid tourism growth

Friday, January 25, 2019


 The Philippines hosted a record 7.1 million tourists to its beaches and dive spots in 2018, despite the shutdown of its most famous resort Boracay Thursday (Jan 24).


The archipelago of over 7,000 islands saw the number of visitors jump by nearly 8 per cent over the previous year, with South Koreans leading the way as its top tourists.


This growth came without much help from Boracay, which was closed for a cleanup from April to October after President Rodrigo Duterte branded it a “cesspool” fouled by reckless development.


Before the closure, the tiny island’s white sand beaches and turquoise waters were seeing some two million sun worshippers a year.


Other spots like natural paradise Palawan and beach destination Siargao island saw a jump in foreign tourists during the closure.


Americans visitors to the former US colony were at one million.


“The challenging act of closing down Boracay… the country’s top sun-and-beach destination has evidently become a blessing in disguise,” said Philippine Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat.


While South Korea led the pack with 1.6 million tourists, Chinese arrivals jumped by nearly 30 per cent over 2017 to hit 1.3 million, the Department of Tourism added.


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