MANILA – Boracay Island is being rebranded as a sustainable destination and the next haven for cyclists.
Banking on the island’s greener environment and rehabilitated roads, the Department of Tourism (DOT) is confident the soon-to-be-launched tourism program will boost arrivals and contribute to Boracay’s goal of attracting quality tourists.
“Boracay has always been a bike-friendly destination but the biking activities are not yet launched but Boracay is now ready. At some point we’ll announce bike activities on the island,” Malay tourism officer Gil delos Santos said in an interview on Thursday.
Delos Santos said bikers from Metro Manila could access Boracay via RORO (roll-on/roll-off) ships sailing to Caticlan, but the same protocols will apply, including negative reverse transcription – polymerase chain reaction results, pre-booked transportation and accommodation at DOT-accredited establishments, and coordination with the local government unit for QR (quick response) codes.
“(Sa RORO) ang babayaran mo lang naman doon usually pamasahe ng tao. Tapos ‘yung bike wala naman extra charge ‘yun (In RORO trips, you usually just pay the fare. One bike has no extra charge). You know for one person, one bike they won’t get charged,” he said.
Aside from the main White Beach, tourists could also access the less crowded Boracay NewCoast, a 150-hectare mixed-use leisure and resort development and where the iconic rock formation Boracay Keyhole is.
It is located in Barangay Yapak on the other side of the island, overlooking the Sibuyan Sea and among the most biker-friendly spots in the area with fewer vehicles and wider roads.
“The NewCoast area is already open to the public and even tourists who just want to visit the coves and Keyhole. We also have bike rentals already at PHP300 for 30 minutes,” Sarah Jane Santos, marketing officer at the Belmont Hotel in Boracay, told the Philippine News Agency (PNA) on Saturday.
She clarified that bicycles are not allowed on the beachfront itself due to the 25 meters plus 5 meters beach easement rule.
According to the DOT, packages offering guided tours and food crawls might be launched in September. (PNA)