Back in April 26, 2018, the National Government closed off the beaches in Boracay for rehabilitation. Thanks to their efforts, the public can once again enjoy the island’s clear blue waters and pristine white sand.
However, there is still more to be done when it comes to maintaining Boracay’s natural beauty. And with the DOT’s latest campaign “#MoreFunForever,” the country strengthens its commitment to preserving its destinations for the future generations. It promises that more efforts will be done to ensure sustainability on the island and in many of the country’s natural tourist locations.
A year after its closing, on April 29, the DOT officially launched their #MoreFunForever campaign in the presence of esteemed guests, government employees, business owners, and members of the media. There, they discussed the plans in furthering the campaign for sustainable tourism.
Achieving Sustainable Tourism through #MoreFunForever
The DOT’s plan for achieving sustainable tourism is driven by a three-part framework. The first is promoting responsible tourism among local and international visitors. This includes educating them with the proper guidelines by placing Do’s and Don’ts signs in high foot traffic areas. Sanctions will also be given when these protocols are ignored.
This is to reiterate the tourism agency’s goal of preserving the beaches’ natural beauty for future generations – making it more than just an “instagrammable” spot.
The second part of the framework is to provide inclusive growth for the local community. As part of this initiative, the DOT and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) provided free skills training for locals, so that business owners may be encouraged to hire more of them.
The last leg of the framework is the compliance of environmental standards from business stakeholders. This involves the following: the “no accreditation, no operations” policy and not going over the 25+5 easement from the beach. Though this may seem a bit constraining, business owner of Happy Planet, Virgilio Sacdalan, said that these rules were necessary “to prepare us (business owners) to become better stakeholders.”
Sacdalan’s feedback gives light and encouragement to other businesses in Boracay, to participate in this new mindset on sustainability we are creating for future generations.
Banking on the success of this framework on the rehabilitation project of Boracay, the DOT is certain that continuing this plan-of-action will preserve the Philippines’ ecosystems in the long-run. The vision is that Boracay becomes a campaign looking to be a promising effort to keep the beauty of the Philippines for the generations to come, the model for sustainable tourism not only in the country but also worldwide. As the Assistant Secretary for Branding and Marketing Communications Howard Lance Uyking explained, “It tells the international community, ‘when it comes to environmental conservation, we mean business.’”
The campaign transforms #LaBoracay into #LoveBoracay
Although there are more regulations implemented, the #MoreFunForever campaign does not discourage people to spend their Labor Day celebrations in Boracay. Instead, they are encouraging tourists to become more responsible during their vacation. Thereby, transforming the popular hashtag #LaBoracay into #LoveBoracay.
As the DOT expands its projects to other areas of the Philippines, they ask that the public take part in promoting its preservation by practicing responsible tourism in the many local destinations they visit.
“It’s on us to ensure all of our natural wonders stay more fun, forever. We’ve had a good start in bringing back the beauty of Boracay, just one among the many steps we’re taking towards achieving responsible, sustainable, and inclusive tourism,” DOT Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat shared in her video message.
“We encourage everyone to join and work with us in protecting and preserving our tourist sites today. Together, we can make it more fun forever.”