Boracay Island

Boracay eyes 2.3 million tourist arrivals in 2024

Jun Aguirre

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Boracay eyes 2.3 million tourist arrivals in 2024

TROPICAL PARADISE. A tourist tries glass boat riding as a beach activity on December 25, Christmas Day, in the island of Boracay.

Jun Aguirre/Rappler

More resorts have applied for permits to conduct New Year fireworks displays in Boracay, a major tourist attraction in the Philippines

BORACAY Island, Philippines – Boracay, dubbed among the best islands in Asia, is eyeing an increase of tourists in the coming year, local officials said. 

Malay Mayor Floribar Bautista said in an interview on Tuesday, December 26, that they’re aiming for 2.3 million tourists in 2024, slightly higher than 2023. About two million tourists were targeted to visit the resort island as of December 2023

Bautista’s optimism isn’t unfounded. The mayor also said that for 2023, some 11 resorts have applied for permits to conduct fireworks displays to greet the New Year. 

Floribar Bautista said that fireworks displays have become a major tourism attraction in this resort island during the New Year revelry.

“I have received reports that hotels are already fully booked this year to celebrate New Year. Last year, only eight hotels had applied for a permit to conduct a fireworks display,” he added.

Each hotel is said to be spending more than P1 million to celebrate the New Year here in Boracay. The firework display lasts for at least 20 minutes.

For several years, fireworks displays have been a major tourist attraction in welcoming the new year. The revelry was, however, canceled from 2018 to 2019 because of Boracay’s closure. Fireworks shows were also canceled from 2020 to 2021 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The community fireworks display was restored only in December 2022.

Hotels here conducting fireworks displays were asked to apply for permits due to the mandate of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) for easy monitoring and ensuring environmental sustainability.

The DENR has required resorts conducting fireworks displays to adhere to protocols, including holding these displays 100 meters offshore, using allowed pyrotechnics, and cleaning the area after the event.

Felix Delos Santos, the municipal tourism chief, said that tourists and residents must also be responsible for keeping the beach clean before and after the revelry.

Rachel Louise Grant de Longueuil, known to many as Rachel Grant, a Filipino-American James Bond film series star, told Rappler via Facebook that she is already excited to witness the fireworks display in Boracay. Grant said she is already booked in a hotel here from December 28, 2023 to January 2, 2024.

Grant’s last visit to Boracay was in 2017.

Grant is known for playing a James Bond girl in the 2002 movie Die Another Day, starring British actor Pierce Brosnan and US actress Halle Berry. She also appeared as Maria Ronson in the film Until Death with Belgian martial artist Jean-Claude Van Damme. – Rappler.com

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