Boracay closure to benefit Mindanao – airlines
DAVAO CITY, Philippines – The temporary closure of world-famous Boracay Island is expected to benefit Mindanao, as airlines affected by the government-ordered shutdown seek to showcase other tourism sites in the country.
Philippine Airlines (PAL), Cebu Pacific Air (CEB), and AirAsia have canceled flights to Kalibo and Caticlan, both in Aklan, for the duration of Boracay's 6-month closure.
PAL served nearly one million domestic and international passengers in its Caticlan and Kalibo routes last year, according to PAL president and CEO Jaime Bautista. Potential losses due to the flight suspension would be discussed at PAL’s board meeting at the end of April.
Asked about the positive effect of the Boracay closure on Mindanao, in particular, Bautista said, “If we can have them (travelers) fly to Manila, and connect to Siargao, Camiguin, and to other Mindanao destinations, it will really benefit the island of Mindanao.”
Cebu Pacific, for its part, said Boracay's closure can also be "an opportunity" to highlight other tourist spots in the country.
“The impending closure of Boracay can serve as an opportunity to showcase the other beautiful destinations in the country. We have redeployed frequency from Kalibo and Caticlan to other routes for this purpose,” Charo Lagamon, Cebu Pacific corporate communications, told Rappler.
AirAsia’s Philippine subsidiary has also made a similar strategy by offering passengers rebooking options to its other destinations, among them Davao City, a gateway to tourist sites in the Davao Region.
Duterte’s closure order on Boracay has rocked the tourism industry, with establishments in Boracay scrambling to cushion its impact especially on workers and clients. (READ: Is the government prepared for Boracay's closure?)
The Department of Tourism has launched its “Go South!” campaign to promote Mindanao since Duterte first announced that he would order the closure of Boracay to tourists, because of environment and sanitation problems that led him to describe the favored tourist destination as a “cesspool.”
Another tourist destination that is seen to benefit from Boracay's closure is Puerto Princesa. – Rappler.com
Siargao image from Mclovin'tosh/Wikimedia Commons
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