MANILA, Philippines – Boracay has been named as one of TIME Magazine’s annual list of the “World’s Greatest Places”, with the article calling the island “Paradise Reborn”.
According to TIME, the 50 destinations that made it to the list exhibit “new and exciting experiences” and many of which are “charting a path to economic recovery”.
The article recalled how pre-rehabilitation, former President Rodrigo Duterte called the tourist spot a “cesspool” and a “Paradise Lost” – the white sand and clear waters being lost in view due to the ‘trash and traffic that comes from 2 million annual visitors”, the article included.
In 2018, Duterte ordered that tourism be temporarily halted for six months (April to October) to give way to its much-needed renewal. This move, according to TIME, an “emergency Band-Aid for decades of ecological abuse”.
According to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, the Boracay Action Plan targeted the following themes to restore the island to its former glory:
Theme 1 – Enforcement of laws and regulations
Theme 2 – Pollution Control and Prevention
Theme 3 – Rehabilitation and recovery of ecosystems
Theme 4 – Sustainability of island activities
The article also cited the setbacks in tourism when the pandemic struck, pushing the Philippines to close its borders and cease domestic tourism for a while. However, as of February 2022, the famous white sand beach has been welcoming visitors in its “revamped, recuperated, natural playground”, with locals even reporting the “return of flora and fauna, like sea turtles”.
“The DOT affirms its pride and honor as Boracay Island once again proved its allure as a tourist haven. Such recognition will surely help us attain our goal of regaining our position in the global market,” Tourism Secretary Christine Frasco said.
Frasco added that they will “exert all efforts to put in the limelight not only the country’s premier tourist destinations like Boracay, but also other places of interest in the country which may not have been given equal focus and attention in the past.”
Other places included in the list, along with TIME’s descriptions, are Galapagos Island (to see and protect), Seoul (the smartest city), International Space Station (out of this world), Copenhagen (riding into the future), Toronto (fresh perspectives), and Portland, Ore (all are welcome).