Press Release
April 12, 2018

Gov't must hype reopening of new improved Boracay as big global event

Boracay's closure could be the "one step backward, two steps forward" strategy which would make the "world's best island better" and whose reopening in October the government should "drumbeat as a global event," Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto said today.

"I think government should market the six-month closure as needed beauty rest and that after 25 weeks, it will wake up more refreshed and rejuvenated," Recto said.

Makeovers are regular occurrences in the hospitality sector, Recto said. "When these facilities re-open, they attract more customers who are curious about the improvements or new attractions. In the end, the income lost during the renovation is immediately recouped," Recto.

"Kahit naman mga sikat na hotel, museums, parks, kapag nag-undergo ng renovation, inaabangan ang muling pagbubukas," he said.

The challenge to the government's communication team, Recto said, is "to hype Boracay's reopening so that the buzz created translates to more hotel and flight bookings."

Recto said government could use the Department of Tourism's P1.15 billion advertising budget for 2018 "to launch a promo blitz that will make Boracay's renaissance an anticipated event in our big tourism markets like China, Korea and Japan."

"Boracay has a huge global fan base who can be lured to revisit the island of their dreams. Pero kung paano gagawin, ito ay trabaho hindi lang ng pamahalaan, ngunit pati ng private sector," he said.

Government, he said, should harness the creativity of Filipinos who are some of the world's heaviest social media users.

"Ang gagaling nating gumawa ng memes. Gawin natin 'yan para sa Boracay. Pero yung positive, para maengganyo ang mga turista na bumalik pagkatapos ng anim na buwan na rehabilitasyon. Tap the social media influencers. At kung sinuman ang mga commanders ng troll armies, masabihan sila na tumulong din," he said.

"Maraming pwedeng gawin. Teasers, countdowns. All the bells and whistles. Pati YouTube posts, which can attract millions of views. Ngunit ngayon pa lang, dapat gawin na ito," he said.

"Government can even declare 2019 as Visit Boracay Year," he added.

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