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How reliant has Boracay become upon Chinese tourists?

The alarming global increase in numbers of people testing positive for the coronavirus has led to a travel ban on flights coming in from China, Hong Kong and Macau.

President Duterte initially appeared hesitant to authorize the ban, but the scare has led to almost panic conditions in many areas around the country.

Although deemed necessary and widely called for, the ban has badly hit Boracay businesses, with many still reeling from the effects of typhoon Ursula. Some still haven't fully recovered from the six month closure.

Last month, three large Island resort hotels whose main clientele are from mainland China, were forced to put their staff on reduced shift hours.

A Chinese restaurant owner who has interests in three food businesses here, told us that he will close his restaurants for the next four to six weeks.

Walking along White Beach and around D’mall it quickly becomes obvious of the small number of visitors now on the Island.

There are no longer queues of people each evening waiting for a table at the beachfront buffet restaurants. Just two weeks ago they were all packed, predominantly with Chinese guests.

The trike drivers, many who would ignore the locals in pursuit of special fares from Chinese tourists are now hungry again for any business they can pick up.

The porters at Cagban are aimlessly standing around looking for clients.

The number of dive and island hopping boats stopping at the pontoon at Station 2 have dwindled to single numbers.

A spa owner said that she has only had three customers since the beginning of the week.

There has been a lot of complaints over the past months from many residents and some stakeholders over the numbers of Chinese visitors, mainly about them driving up rental prices, but it now seems that much of Boracay has become dependent upon their business.

Fortunately, up till now, Boracay has been spared from the virus outbreak, but the side effects are still doing damage.


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