Manila Bulletin

W. Visayas: More than Boracay


LOILO 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 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.

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