Philippines Reopens Tourism Hotspot Boracay to More Locals
(Bloomberg) -- The Philippines is reopening Boracay island, one of its main tourist attractions, to more visitors starting Oct. 1 as it banks on locals to revive its pandemic-hit tourism sector.
Tourists from areas under general community quarantine, including the capital Manila, will be allowed on the island next month as long as they have tested negative from the coronavirus and have pre-booked accommodations, Tourism Undersecretary Benito Bengzon said at a televised briefing on Wednesday.
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The reopening of Boracay, which was recently open only to residents and visitors from neigboring provinces, comes as the nation pushes for further economic activity despite having the most infections in Southeast Asia. The central Philippine island famous for its powdery white sand beaches drew 2 million tourists last year mainly from China and South Korea.
The Department of Tourism said earlier this month that it foresees international tourism, mainly from the region, to resume by the second half of 2021. Tourism accounted for almost 13% of the Philippines’ economic output last year.
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