W. Visayas: More than Boracay

Published April 7, 2018, 10:00 PM

by Mario Casayuran and Vanne Elaine Terrazola

By Tara Yap

Iloilo City – The Department of Tourism (DOT) has been urged to promote and help develop other tourist destinations in Western Visayas amid the looming 6-month shutdown of world-renowned Boracay Island in Aklan.

Antique Governor Rhodora Cadiao, the Regional Development Council (RDC) chairperson in Western Visayas, said there must be other tourist attractions and areas in the region that can be promoted.

The 1,032-hectare Boracay Island is geographically under Western Visayas and Malay town in Aklan.

The government is set to shut down tourism in 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 R56 billion from tourism last year.

“We have to prepare for the impact of the island’s closure to the regional economy, as well as to social security and governance,” Cadiao added.

Even before the Boracay environmental issues made headlines, the DOT regional office tried to diversify in promoting destinations in Aklan, Antique, Capiz, Guimaras, Iloilo, and Negros Oriental provinces.

In 2014, the DOT launched the “Experience Western Visayas First” program to promote and boost tourism in the region.