Boracay, a tropical island surrounded by stunning white sand beaches and clear blue waters in Panay, has been named by TIME Magazine as one of the “World’s Greatest Places of 2022.”
On its website, TIME, the New York-based American mass media corporation, described the world-famous white-sand beach as a “paradise reborn” and called it among the “50 extraordinary destinations to explore.”
The news coincided with President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s statement underscoring the need to improve policies and infrastructure to strengthen the tourism industry.
Marcos issued the statement in a Cabinet meeting that he presided virtually, citing how Singapore’s tourism sector fared well even with limited natural resources.
He said the city-state showed how policy and infrastructure were “so important” in giving a boost to tourism.
“That means that it can be done. We just have to support the plan to develop all of these enabling environments—the policy, conditions, and infrastructure,” Marcos said.
Marcos also noted that the equivalent of ease of doing business in tourism includes “ease of getting here, getting around, arranging for tours, getting drivers… finding a hotel.”
The chief executive also discussed how healthcare facilities in big tourist destinations like Boracay could be improved as he cited the arrangement implemented in beaches in Hawaii and Thailand.
“In the beach, there are police and everything…So, if anything happens along that stretch, they can call for help. The lifeguards know exactly where to bring them,” he said.
“That is supported by the local industry. They have their respective duties, to keep a doctor there, to keep a nurse there.”
In creating its list, TIME said it solicited nominations of places from its international network of correspondents and contributors “with an eye toward those offering new and exciting experiences.”
The Department of Tourism (DOT), for its part, welcomed Boracay’s inclusion saying this affirms its “allure as a tourist haven.”
“Such recognition will surely help us attain our goal of regaining our position in the global market,” DOT Secretary Christina Garcia Frasco said in a press statement.
“Surely, the Philippines has a multitude of sites and tourism activities that we could offer to the world. And, in addition to natural resources, we look forward as well to developing and promoting the talents of our people and the products that have the potential for national and global marketability,” she said.
Garcia-Frasco said the Philippines “is certainly not at a disadvantage” with regard to the availability of natural resources and wealth of talent as well as products and people.
“But certainly, many measures could be improved as far as policy regulations, both on the national and local level, and proper coordination—to be able to focus on the overall tourist experience from the time that he arrives to the point of entry to the time that he gets to his point of destination,” Garcia-Frasco said, noting that Singapore has “really mastered this.”
“Certainly, to benchmark their policies in this regard would be the direction that we would take per your instructions,” she added.