BORACAY Island – Philippines
From dazzling beaches and mystical mountains to terrific shopping and thrilling adventure travel, the Philippines is a big country in a small package. It’s the second largest archipelago in the world, with 7,107 islands, sixty percent of which are uninhabited and combined the total coastline measuring 58,390km.
Meet me in Boracay
The palm-studded island of Boracay – with its white, talcum-fine beach, balmy weather, and warm, crystalline waters – is like a hypnotic magnet. In this tiny, butterfly-shaped island at the northwestern tip of Panay in Western Visayas, days can be spent simply lazing on the beach while nights are for indulging in the tropical party lifestyle.
The best part of the island is the four-kilometer White Beach hailed as the “finest beach in the world.” The surrounding water is shallow and the sand is finer and brighter than most beaches in the archipelago. White Beach is so, soooo fine, it feels like treading on miles of baby powder!
The code in Boracay is strictly informal. There is an undeniably easy atmosphere in the island, where walking barefoot than shod is the rule rather than the exception. Even swinging discos have the beach for a floor, giving dance a new twist. There are no hang-ups here. During the day, tourists having a soothing massage under the shade of a coconut tree beside the shoreline is a common sight. And from dusk to dawn, Boracay turns into one big party place where everyone is welcome to join in. But first, let’s toast that sunset cocktail!
Diversions are not a problem, with leisure activities calendared throughout the year and amenities offered by some 350 tourist establishments. There is plenty to do other than beach bumming and party-hopping. For the adventure-driven, there is “Mambo Number 5” – a little bit of boating and windsurfing, a little bit of scuba diving, a little bit of trekking, a little bit of mountain biking, and a little bit of golf. On the eastern side of the island is Bulabog Beach, a boardsailor’s mecca that draws enthusiasts from all over the world, especially during the peak season from November to March. In January, it is the site of an International Funboard Cup.
Sailboating and kayaking are popular sporting activities, with Boracay playing host to the annual Paraw Regatta, an international sailboat race that makes use of the native outrigger. Dive sites surround the island and are learning venues to both novice and professional divers, guided by competent instructors of the many dive shops that operate in the area.
Trekking and mountain biking can also bring the intrepid to the island’s quaint interior villages and to the edges’ scenic rocky cliffs, discovering along the way many hidden coves with isolated beaches far from the tourist crowd. And for golf bugs, Fairways and Bluewater Resort Golf and Country club have an 18-hole championship course.
Boracay top tourism destination for Middle Eastern travelers
Philippine Department of Tourism (PDOT) has announced an increase of 10% on tourist arrival in Boracay islands for the first month of 2018. Boracay received a total of 186,893 tourists from January 1 to 31 of this year; 17,050 higher than those the island welcomed in January 2017. Of the total tourists recorded in the first month of this year, foreign tourists listed were 125,910; while domestic tourists were 55,216; and the Overseas Filipinos were 5,767.
Although, Chinese and Korean tourists remain the top foreign visitors of the island in January this year with 54,615 and 44,458 arrivals, respectively. Also included in the top 10 foreign visitor list were nationals from United States of America with 2,567 arrivals; Russia 2,360; Australia 2,107; Taiwan 1,915; United Kingdom 1,820; Malaysia 1,385; Saudi Arabia 1,351; and Canada 1,205.
The Department of Tourism-Boracay said that the island is targeting 17 international cruise ship calls in the first six months of the year that could bring in a total of 58,000 tourists in the resort island. The Philippines has seen the consistent growth in tourist arrivals from the Middle East. In 2017, the Philippines received a total of 89,932 tourists from the region. Tourist arrivals from Saudi Arabia and UAE, the two largest markets out of the region for the Philippines, reached 54,716 and 16,399 respectively.
The PDOT aims to achieve 100,000 tourists from the Middle East by the end of 2018 and proactively developing strategic partnerships with key stakeholders in the Middle East to capture a sizeable percentage of its high-yield tourist market.