The famous tourist island of Boracay is close to reaching its targeted 1.5 million tourist arrivals this 2014.
According to Helen J. Catalbas, regional director of the Department of Tourist in Western Visayas, the efforts to promote the island as a global tourist destination for cruises are expected to pay off between 2014 and 2016. The director said that the arrival of 10 cruise ships between those years could increase the number of foreign visitors to the island, thereby allowing the tourism body to reach—or even breach—its 1.5 million visitor target.
In 2013, Boracay received 615,508 foreign tourists and 748,093 local tourists. April was the peak arrival month, with a recorded total receipt of 162,237 tourists.
The Caticlan Jetty Port administration interprets this positive turnout, noting a 13% increase in visitor arrivals in 2013. The Aklan Provincial Tourism Operations Office (PTOO) said that the revenues from the 1.368 million tourists amounted to Php25.067 billion.
Caticlan Jetty Port administrator Niven M. Maquirang added that Aklan’s provincial government earned Php299.5 million in terminal fees and local taxes. Commenting on the shortfall of 1.32 million on the 2013 visitor arrivals, Maquirang said that the onslaught of typhoon Yolanda forced tourists to cancel their reservations with hotels and resorts.
Nevertheless, the port administrator avowed that Boracay will reach its current target. In the first week of January 2014, two cruise ships—MS Costa Victoria and MS Europa—arrived in Boracay, bringing about 3,000 tourists.
Eight more cruise ships will visit the resort island between 2014 and 2016: MS Deutschland, MS Costa Atlantica, MS Superstar Aquarius, MS The World, MV Costa Atlantica, MS Celebrity Century, MS L’ Anstral, and MS Celebrity Millennium.