Boracay. No single word conjures up visions of a tropical paradise as much as that one name does. Well maybe Bali does for some, but that’s debatable.
White Beach, Boracay, had won awards for the best beach in the world for more years running than any other beach on the planet – until early this year when the Philippine Government closed down Boracay because of pollution in the ocean.
Boracay’s popularity with both domestic and international tourists had resulted in uncontrolled development along its foreshores, with hotels and restaurants emptying raw sewage into the ocean. Warnings had been given to developers but they went unheeded, so the island was shut to visitors for six months for a massive cleanup.
That cleanup has been completed, and the island has been reopened. All of the illegal sewage outfalls have been removed, roads have been improved and new trash collection facilities have been established.
Resorts have taken the opportunity to renovate and repaint, and the island has taken on a new lease of life. International tourists are returning with their stylish bags and designer sunglasses, along with backpackers in their sandals and sarongs.
The palm trees have all now fully regrown after some damage by a typhoon a few years back, and Boracay is on track to regain its reputation as one of the world’s best known tropical paradise destinations.
What makes Boracay such a popular tropical beach destination is that it has accommodation and dining options for all types of travellers – from backpackers on a budget up to wealthy travelers looking for luxury accommodation and five-star dining.
And at night, all these travelers can be seen mixing in the beach bars and restaurants, coffee shops and ice-cream parlors, and the local open-air mall with its beach-sand floor.