BORACAY, the Philippines, 18 August 2020: Boracay could be the first example of a leisure travel bubble in Asia as local authorities consider opening the island to foreign tourists in October.
Negotiations with South Korea are now underway, and as long as there are no further spikes in infections either in South Korea and Boracay, officials are confident the first flights could begin in October. However, a spike in infections in South Korea over the last three days could jeopardise talks.
First reported in Business Mirror Online, the island leaders and representatives agreed to the proposal with conditions. The main requirement focuses on strict RT-PCR testing of all leisure travellers ahead of boarding flights to the Philippines. Only those with a negative test will be allowed to enter the island while flights will be carried out exclusively by Philippine Airlines.
There are a few obstacles to overcome, such as the demand that the island’s hotels offer a 75% discount off published rates for the duration of the travel bubble programme. If successful, Philippine Airlines will fly between Incheon and the Kalibo International Airport the closest to Boracay.
According to Business Mirror Online, a working group will discuss details before a final decision is made by the Boracay Inter-Agency Task Force.
The island has already completed its Covid-19 testing laboratory, which will help stakeholders get health checks for their employees. A protocol will be established for workers to get a “daily symptomatic test.” This can help boost the confidence of tourists to travel to Boracay again, according to the provincial government.
Boracay, known the world over for its powdery white sand beach, is currently open to tourists from Western Visayas, which is currently under modified general community quarantine.
The Department of Tourism (DOT) has deferred to local government leaders to make the decision when they want to reopen their provinces and tourists destinations to holidaymakers.
(Source: Business Mirror)