BFI might change stand against cruise tourism

Prior to Boracay’s closure on April 26, the Department of Tourism Region 6 has been promoting cruise tourism in the island. From January to February this year, seven luxury liners have docked in the famed beach destination. AKLAN FORUM JOURNAL

BORACAY – Will the Boracay Foundation, Inc. (BFI) support cruise ship tourism now that this island resort has been rehabilitated?

The BFI has been opposing cruise ship tourism in Boracay, fearing it would worsen the already degrading environmental state of the island.

But the foundation is reconsidering this position, said Maylynn Graf, BFI president.

In 2015, Gov. Florencio Miraflores of Aklan signed a memorandum of understanding with the United States-based cruise company Royal Caribbean on making Boracay a cruise ship hub in Southeast Asia.

Aside from those from Royal Caribbean, many cruise ships from other cruise companies have been docking for a day in the island since 2014.

“Right now, since Boracay is already environmentally safe, we consider supporting cruise ship tourism,” Graf said, clarifying that they have yet to come up with a finally decision on the matter.

In April, President Rodrigo Duterte ordered the closure of Boracay to tourists for six months to give way to environmental and physical rehabilitation. The island was reopened to visitors on Oct. 26.

Charged with the task of rehabilitation were the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, the Department of Tourism, and the Department of Public Works and Highways.

A cruise ship will reportedly arrive in the island on Dec. 18 to bring in around 3,000 tourists.

Earlier, Niven Maquirang, Caticlan and Cagban jetty ports administrator, said they are expecting some 28 cruise ship port calls in Boracay next year./PN


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