MALAY, Aklan – Aklan officials want their province to become the sports tourism capital in the Philippines.
Local government leaders expressed this goal at the opening of the four-day celebration of Love Boracay 2023. The event, considered a feast of Malay, started on Friday, April 28, and will culminate on Monday, May 1.
Aklan Governor Jose Enrique Miraflores said that to promote sports tourism, he is planning to bid for the province to host the 2024 Palarong Pambansa.
“We will make the necessary budget available if we will be given the right to host,” said Miraflores.
Malay Mayor Floribar Bautista noted that sports activities are among the major activities of Love Boracay 2023, including the dragon boat, beach volleyball, and paraw regatta.
“We could lure more tourists to come through sports tourism as it will not only attract players and their families to come but also their respective fans as well,” Bautista said.
Tourism Secretary Maria Esperanza Christina Frasco said in her keynote speech at opening program of Love Boracay said she supports the local officials’ plan.
“I am here to thank both the provincial and local government leaders as well as the private stakeholders to express my gratitude for your endurance during the previous crisis. I am also here to support you in your endeavors because you already know what to do and my department is here to assist you in your undertakings,” she said.
Department of Environment and Natural Resources Western Visayas chief Livino Duran told Rappler that the local government has committed several “excesses” in the conduct of Love Boracay.
“We will plan to meet with the local government after the commencement of all the programs of Love Boracay after May 1. Among those excesses are the holding of a food bazaar at the wetland. Also, we noted that several tourists swim beyond our recommended areas,” he said.
“We are here to ensure environmental sustainability. The criteria of the success of Boracay should not be the gross domestic product or how much the government earns. The main criteria should be the gross domestic happiness or how much the tourists are happy because of the environmental sustainability,” he added. – Rappler.com
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