By Tara Yap
With the government’s massive crackdown of environmental violators, the Department of Tourism (DOT) is suspending accreditation process for hotels, restaurants and other establishments at world-famous Boracay Island in Malay, Aklan province.
“New applications and applications for renewal of DOT accreditation will be held in abeyance until certificates of environmental law compliance will be issued,” said Atty. Helen Catalbas, DOT regional director for Western Visayas.
Catalbas said the moratorium is in place as the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) is leading the cleansing efforts at the country’s most popular beach destination after the closure warning made by President Duterte.
Catalbas told the Manila Bulletin that only environmental law-compliant [establishments] and DOT-accredited establishments will be given recommendations to participate in both national and international travel fairs or road shows sponsored by the DOT and its attached agency Tourism Promotions Board (TPB).
On the other hand, DOT notes that the island dubbed as “Asia’s 24/7” remains to be a favored beach destination.
“It is business as usual in Boracay Island. Tourist traffic remains relatively similar or heavier,” Catalbas noted.
From February 12 to 18 of this year, Boracay had 48,904 foreign and domestic tourists. In comparison, there were only 42,473 tourists who visited Boracay for the same period of last year.
“Cancellations are insignificant and may not be related to the pronouncement of the President,” Catalbas added.