By Tara Yap
ILOILO CITY—The chairperson of the Regional Development Council (RDC) has urged the Department of Tourism (DOT) to also promote other destinations of Western Visayas amid the looming closure of Boracay Island.
Antique Gov. Rhodora Cadiao, who serves as RDC-6 chairperson, said there must be other areas in Western Visayas that can be promoted.
The 1,032-hectare island of Boracay geographically belongs to Western Visayas as it is located in Malay town, Aklan province. The Duterte administration is preparing to close down the island by April 26 to pave the way for the six-month rehabilitation program.
Cadiao is pushing to ease the impact of the closure of Boracay, which earned an estimated P56 billion from tourism last year.
“We have to prepare for the impact of the island’s closure to the regional and Visayas wide economy, as well as, to social security and governance.” Cadiao added.
Even before the issue of Boracay, the Western Visayas regional office of DOT has tried to diversify in promoting destinations in Aklan, Antique, Capiz, Guimaras, Iloilo, and Negros Occidental provinces. In particular, DOT-6 launched “Experience Western Visayas First” in 2014.