Looks like Boracay Island’s rehabilitation efforts have paid off — the world-renowned island was just named one of TIME magazine’s “World’s Greatest Places in 2022”, joining other global destinations such as Seoul, San Francisco, Copenhagen, and Miami.
“The once brilliant white sand and clear waters of Boracay Island were choking on the trash and traffic that comes from 2 million annual visitors. It reached a nadir in 2018, when Duterte closed down all tourism on the island for six months—an emergency Band-Aid for decades of ecological abuse,” TIME’s Charlie Campbell wrote of the island.
“Then the pandemic struck, and the Philippines closed its borders, halting even domestic tourism to Boracay. It took a severe toll on the local economy, but the silver lining was that this 4-sq.-mi. speck in the Visayas island chain had proper time to truly recover.”
TIME added that, with the reopening of the island to tourists, locals can once again enjoy its famed flora and fauna, such as its sea turtles, after Boracay was effectively closed to tourists for three years due to the pandemic.
“As of February 2022, international visitors can finally revel in this revamped, recuperated, natural playground after what was effectively a three-year convalescence.”
The Department of Tourism hailed Boracay’s recognition by the prominent publication.
“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 Christina Garcia Frasco said in a statement.