Article By: Catherine Talavera (The Philippine Star) – December 20, 2018 – 12:00am
MANILA, Philippines — The number of Boracay hotel rooms that have been cleared to operate has breached the 10,000 mark, an updated list by the Boracay Inter-Agency Task Force (BIATF) showed.
Based on the latest Boracay Bulletin, six more hotels have complied with the requirements of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources(DENR), the Department of Interior and Local Government(DILG) and the Department of Tourism (DOT).
This brings the number of accredited Boracay accommodation establishments to 285 with total of 10,076 rooms.
Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat earlier said the BIATF would continue to accredit compliant accommodation establishments.
“More rooms will be available as we continue with Phase 2 and 3 of the Boracay rehabilitation. We are making sure the task force’s requirements are complied with 100 percent,” Puyat said.
The task force urged the public to avoid booking with establishments that have no permits from the DOT, DENR and DILG.
Before the island’s closure in April, Boracay had roughly 15,000 to 16,000 available rooms.
Puyat said they are not setting a limit on the number of accredited accommodation establishments.
The government is limiting the number of tourists in Boracay to ensure the sustainability of the island, which was reopened in October after it was closed for rehabilitation for six months.
A study commissioned by the DENR showed that Boracay’s carrying capacity is only 55,757 people per day, including its residents. Only 19,215 tourists are allowed to be on the island at a certain time, with 6,405 tourists allowed to enter the island per day.
Last week, Puyat said she is not confident of hitting the 7.4 million foreign arrivals target this year mainly due to the closure of Boracay
She added that having a carrying capacity would definitely affect arrivals figures since it would be unlike before when an unlimited amount of tourists could enter the island at a given time.