ILOILO CITY — With the threat posed by COVID-19’s Omicron variant, tourist arrivals have again slowed down for world-famous Boracay Island in Malay town, Aklan province.
Data the tourism office of the Malay local government showed that a little more than 30,000 visited Boracay from January 1-23, 2022.
This was a slump in comparison to December 2021 when there were 113,596 tourists who visited.
The tourist arrivals for December 2021 were the highest recorded for the entire pandemic, especially when authorities eased restrictions and allowed fully vaccinated persons to come without having to undergo swab tests.
But the policy of requiring tourists to present swab test results they are negative for COVID-19 were reinstated last January 9 as COVID-19 cases were fast spreading.
With this policy, the Malay Tourism Office estimated that there was a drop of 400 visitors daily and is another stumbling block in reviving the tourism industry.
Both the Department of Tourism (DOT) and the business sector were elated last November 2021 when Boracay already reached herd immunity. The government officials and tourism key players thought this would signal the return to normalcy.