Beach in Boracay, Philippines

Travel Alert: Philippines' Boracay Island To Close To Tourism

6 April 2018

Update: 12/04/18 at 8am 

While an official statement is yet to be released, the Philippine government has opted to close the island of Boracay to all tourism in response to the lack of appropriate waste disposal on the island and environmental damage caused by the high number of tourists visiting in recent years.  It is hoped that during this six-month 'break' from all tourism, a waste treatment facility can be built and the local environment can recover.

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) has also updated its advice to travellers on smarttraveller.gov.au to confirm the closure of Boracay to tourism from 26 April 2018 for up to six months and advise that hotels, flights and other tourist services will be disrupted.

If you are affected by the decision to close Boracay to tourism, contact your travel consultant to find out what options are available.

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The Philippine Government has taken the extraordinary decision to close the island of Boracay to all tourism for a period of six months, starting from April 26, 2018.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has announced his approval of the closure of Boracay for a six-month period. The decision to close Boracay to tourism has been made to allow authorities to manage a process of environmental rehabilitation on the island, which has been greatly impacted by a high number of visitors in recent years.

Boracay, situated one hour’s flight north of Manila in central Philippines, is a popular resort and beach destination that regularly topped ‘Best of’ lists and is famous for its white-sand beaches. The ultimate outcome of the island’s closure will be positive for travellers who wish to enjoy a truly pristine island experience.

Flight Centre customers who have travel to Boracay booked over the closure period are recommended to contact their travel consultant to arrange deferred travel dates or chose an alternative destination.

Unfortunately, travel insurance does not apply to customers affected by the Philippine Government’s decision to take this course of action. Cover-More Insurance has advised that "government intervention is a general exclusion on all its policies therefore claims for any costs incurred as a result of these events are excluded".

If you are affected, check with your Flight Centre travel consultant about the options available to you.

Feature image: Getty Images

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