Travel Update: Boracay Island Set To Re-Open For Tourism

Boracay Philippines coastline

2min read

Published 9 October 2018


Key summary points

Update: 5 November, 2018

Boracay has now re-opened to overseas visitors however there are some new regulations for travellers to this Philippine island. It's also important to note the number of visitors to Boracay are now restricted and the island is no longer a 'party' destination.

Visitors to Boracay are expected to sign the 'Oath for a Better Boracay', which reads: “I hereby solemnly swear, as a visitor of Boracay island, that I will, to the best of my ability, help ensure its preservation and sustainable development, and follow/observe environmental laws and regulations.” 

New Boracay regulations to know

  • The number of visitors to the island is now restricted and tourists may have to prove they have pre-booked accommodation before they are permitted to disembark on the island. You'll need to carry printouts of your travel documents.
  • No smoking or consumption of alcohol on White Beach.
  • Diving and other water activities remain temporarily suspended or limited to areas off shore.  
  • Kayaking, parasailing and stand-up paddleboarding may be permitted but only with registered operators.  Visitors are advised to arrange through their hotels.
  • Dining on the beach is banned, along with fire dancing and fireworks (after 9pm).
  • The building of sandcastles is now regulated.
  • Tables and chairs are now banned from the beaches.
  • Food stalls and street hawkers are also banned from the beaches and waterfront.
  • Beach parties are now prohibited
  • All casinos are now closed.
  • All single-use plastic is banned.

For the most up-to-date information on travelling to Boracay, talk to your Travel Expert in store.

After closing earlier this year due to the lack of environmental damage and appropriate waste disposal, Boracay Island is scheduled to re-open to overseas tourists later this month.

The Philippines government took the extraordinary measure of closing Boracay Island to tourism for six months from April 26, 2018. The popular resort, located one hour’s flight north of Manila in central Philippines, is famous for its white-sand beaches and a destination that regularly tops ‘Best of’ lists.

Boracay is currently scheduled to open to tourists on October 26. 2018, although there is still considerable construction work underway on roads, drainage and sewerage systems across the island, which could delay the re-opening.

Boracay accommodation

Visitors to Boracay will be required to have pre-booked accommodation before entry. There are 430 hotels on Boracay, however only 25 hotels have been accredited by the Philippine Department of Tourism (DOT) to resume operations on 26 October. Your Flight Centre Travel Expert has the list of hotels that are able to be booked, so check with your consultant about your accommodation options on the island.

Travel to Boracay

Reports suggest that tourist numbers entering and exiting the island will also be limited. Tourists will need to take a boat from Caticlan Jetty Port Terminal to Boracay and three drop-off points. Airline services into Kalibo and Caticlan will also be reduced.

Environment impact changes on Boracay

A number of social and environmental changes will be enforced by the Boracay authorities to ensure the island transitions to a more family- and eco-friendly destination.

  • Single-use plastic will be banned;
  • Tables, chairs, massage beds and beach umbrellas along White Beach, Puka Beach and other beaches are prohibited within the 30m easement;
  • Sandcastle making will be 'regulated' to stabilise the natural sand formation;
  • No souvenir shop/food stalls will be allowed on the beachfront;
  • Open fires and the use of kerosene gas, lights, lamp and the like shall be banned, along with fire dancing on the beachfront;
  • No constructions of any improvements, such as stages for entertainment performances, will be allowed within the easement;
  • Diving and watersports activities are suspended while the authorities undertake biodiversity assessment;
  • Casinos and online gambling are prohibited and this covers gaming establishments operating before the island’s closure;
  • No smoking in public places;
  • No consumption of alcohol on the beach – parties and events will be restricted to the resorts; and
  • All fireworks are banned before 9pm.

For the most up-to-date information on travelling to Boracay, talk to your local Travel Expert for the latest advice.

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