Boracay Island still Western Visayas’ primary tourist destination

By on December 22, 2014

Boracay Island. Photo by Angelo Juan Ramos.
Boracay Island. Photo by Angelo Juan Ramos.

ILOILO CITY — Boracay Island is still the top destination in Western Visayas. It is followed by Bacolod City and Negros Occidental combined and Iloilo City and Province combined, according to the Department of Tourism (DOT) Region VI destination-product profile matrix presented during the recent Product Development and Marketing Workshop at Berjaya Hotel, Makati.

Caticlan Airport and Kalibo International Airport have a total of 45 flights daily with Caticlan having an average of 21 flights everyday while Kalibo has an average of 18 daily domestic flights and six daily international flights. Koreans are the leading foreign tourist arrivals in the island followed by Chinese, Taiwanese, Russians and Americans.

Boracay Island has three (3) standard class hotels, 26 Class AAA, 10 Class AA and one (1) Class A resorts, and eight (8) tour operators accredited by DOT VI. It has more than 8,000 accommodation rooms with various facilities and amenities aside from high end hotels and resorts. The island is also home to public transportation, convention halls, restaurants, shopping centers and souvenir shops. As of December 2014, there were approximately 13 cruise ships which made Boracay their port of call in the Philippines.

DOT-6 Regional Director Helen J. Catalbas expects Boracay Island to remain a primary destination for tourists given private sector investments in the island. “Boracay is scheduled to welcome around 20 cruise visits in 2015 and the DOT-6 is doubling its efforts in preparation for the Visit Philippines Year next year”.

Boracay Island’s primary tourist attractions are White Beach, Puka Beach, Bulabog Beach, Mount Luho, D’Mall, Talipapa, Mangrove Reforestation Project, Ati Village, Crocodile Island and Crystal Cove. Top island activities include water sports, land tours, island hopping, shopping, food tours, coastal clean up, coral transplantation, night life and MICE (meetings, incentives, conference, exhibitions).

Tour packages offered are island hopping tour, land tour, dive packages, eco-adventure tour–Mainland, and water sports package tours.

Boracay Island’s product portfolio includes Nature Based tourism, Sun and Beach tourism, Diving and Marine Sports Tourism, Cultural tourism and Cruise and Nautical Tourism. It has 1,354,347 tourist arrivals from January – November 2014; 628,869 of which are international tourists, 687,011 are domestic tourists while 38,467 are overseas Filipinos.