91 percent of Boracay’s tourism workers vaccinated

ILOILO CITY – As COVID-19 swab tests will soon be lifted for incoming visitors of world-famous Boracay Island, the Department of Tourism (DOT) is nearing the completion of fully vaccinating tourism workers.

As of October 24, at least 91 percent or 11,668 tourism workers at the country’s most famous beach destination have been vaccinated against COVID-19.

“Our vaccination rollouts are crucial in protecting our tourism workers as they face visitors every day,” said DOT Secretary Berna Romulo-Puyat in a statement.

Workers wearing face masks clean up natural debris along the famous white beach of Boracay Island when it reopened to domestic tourists last October 2020. (Tara Yap/File/Manila Bulletin)

These are workers of hotels, resorts, restaurants, spas, wellness centers, souvenir shops, shopping centers, security services, transport services, tourism-related cooperatives, tourism associations, and government workers.

The DOT is expecting more tourists to visit the country’s most popular beach destination in Malay town, Aklan province once the 100-percent vaccination target for tourism workers is reached by November.

Aklan Governor Florencio Miraflores also announced that all 24,451 residents of Boracay will be fully vaccinated by end of October. Currently, 62.78 percent or 15,350 people in Boracay have been fully vaccinated.

In several instances this year, COVID-19 cases spiked in Boracay as well as in other parts of Aklan province.

The national government even placed Aklan under modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) last August and a temporary ban on visitors coming to Boracay for almost a month.

After the travel ban was lifted, the DOT recorded a significant jump in Boracay’s tourist arrivals. For instance, a total of 17,995 tourists visited for the first three weeks of October 2021. This posed a1,243.6-percent increase in comparison to the same period of last year.