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Boracay tourism recovers from typhoon

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BORACAY (December 25, 2006) - Most hotels in this resort island reported full occupancy rates during the Christmas holiday, just two weeks after typhoon Seniang, internationally known as Utor, left a trail of destruction on the island and the province of Aklan.

 
boracay beach with tourist

 

BORACAY (December 25, 2006) - Most hotels in this resort island reported full occupancy rates during the Christmas holiday, just two weeks after typhoon Seniang, internationally known as Utor, left a trail of destruction on the island and the province of Aklan.

 

a beautiful view of sunset in boracay beach

 

"Tourism is good this year despite the typhoons," said Judith Icotanim, the officer in charge at the Department of Tourism-Boracay. In May this year, typhoon Caloy (international name, Chanchu) also hit Boracay.

 

boracay beach

 

Icotanim said that of the more than 100 accredited resorts and hotels in the island, only two establishments reported booking cancellations, while the rest were having full occupancy in December.

 

boracay beach

 

"The only problem is the power fluctuations, caused by fallen electric posts and trees during the onslaught of the typhoon," Icotanim said.

Thousands of family vacationers from around the world trooped to the world-famous White Beach to celebrate Christmas in Boracay, unperturbed by a series of brownouts that hit the island since the typhoon crossed Western Visayas two weeks ago.

 

 

"While reconstruction and repair for the affected structures are in full swing, it is business as usual in Boracay,"said Helen Camarista, the supervising tourism operations office in Western Visayas.

Camarista said flights to Kalibo and Caticlan as well as boat trips from Caticlan to Boracay resumed immediately after the typhoon.

 

boracay beach

 

"Holiday makers are back on the beach and other tourist attractions and points of interests in Boracay Island," Camarista added.

Data show that in the first 10 months of 2006, visitor arrivals to Boracay topped half a million, which represented the full-year arrival figure in 2005.

 

boracay beach

 

Icotanim said the full-year volume of visitors in the island may register a 20 percent growth from 2005. Top visitors to Boracay, apart from Filipino vacationers, were Koreans, Japanese, Europeans and Americans.

 

boracay beach

 

The DOT expects visitor arrivals to peak in January during the Ati-Atihan festival in Aklan, the province that collects taxes from Boracay Island.

 

boracay beach

 

Boracay establishments remit about P7 billion in taxes to the national government annually, but a foreign resort operator said the amount could easily climb 10 times to P70 billion if foreigners would be allowed to own and develop properties in the island.

 

boracay beach

 

"It will be like Disneyland, with brick roads and world-class facilities," the resort operator said. The Philippine Constitution, however, prevents foreigners from owning lands in the country, although some foreigners who have married Filipinas were able to do so.

 

boracay beach

 

"We hope that someday, the Filipino people will realize how foreigners can help Philippine tourism and economy to grow beyond their present levels," he said. Roderick T. dela Cruz