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April 6, 2018

 
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The Philippine Government Closes
the Tourist Island of Boracay 



 
 
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The island of Boracay in the Philippines has long been known as one of the most sumptuous destinations in the country, and perhaps the entire world. However, after a recent visit from the country’s President, Rodrigo Duterte who called the island a “cesspool”, the outlook on Boracay’s tourism industry for 2018 is anything but sunny. 

The President’s cabinet announced earlier today a 6-month closure of the touristic island following sanitation problems and sustained environmental damages. Among the problems caused by the island's long-running tourism boom is unregulated development and pipes carrying raw effluence directly into the sea. 

The ban which will begin on April 26th represents a total closure for tourists. Many hotels and restaurants are being targeted by the government who is demanding a major infrastructure turnaround. Duterte has hinted at the use of police and possibly army personnel to block off popular beach spots if need be. 

The closure will certainly cause commercial and economic disruptions. Over 500 businesses and most of the island’s 19,000 residents rely on tourism. Many hotels and businesses are expected to shut down or operate with minimal staff. Eighteen cruise ships, representing 50,000 tourists, were due to visit the island this year. With nearly two million tourists coming to the island last year, the forecasted losses could easily reach over one billion.

ADVICE TO TRAVELERS

If you were planning on traveling to Boracay from April 26th to October 25th, call your travel agent and postpone or change your travel plans. If Boracay was one of your cruise’s stop, contact your cruise line for information regarding rerouting or cancellations. 

If you do end up on Boracay during the travel ban, do not take a swim and avoid the beaches. The health and legal risks should be enough to persuade even the keenest of vacationers. 

Finally, wherever your travels take you, be sure to do your part in keeping the Earth clean when you travel, and always discard your trash properly.

 
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The content of this edition of AssistAlert is for informational purposes only and is not intended to replace further investigation or personal observations. If you are planning travel, or are traveling in or proximate to the locations identified in this newsletter, you are encouraged to contact SecurAssist for additional information.


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