TIME Magazine has recognized Boracay Island as one of the greatest places of 2022, describing it as a “paradise reborn.”
TIME highlighted that the island was able to recuperate despite the fact that the COVID-19 outbreak had a significant impact on tourism in the Philippines.
“The pandemic struck, and the Philippines closed its borders, halting even domestic tourism to Boracay. It took a severe toll on the local economy,” Charlie Campbell of Time Magazine wrote.
“But the silver lining was that this 4-sq.-mi. speck in the Visayas island chain had proper time to truly recover,” he said.
The magazine also recalled how Boracay had become known as “Paradise Lost,” or as former Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte called it, a “cesspool” even before the onset of the pandemic due to water pollution.
“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,” Campbell wrote.
In 2018, Duterte ordered Boracay’s closure for six months as part of the government’s initiatives to rehabilitate and redevelop the island after it was severely polluted with sewage and garbage.
This year, tourists are finally able to enjoy a revamped Boracay. Local residents even report the return of flora and fauna, such as sea turtles, as well as a remarkable return of hospitality, according to the magazine.
Also on the list are other world-famous attractions and natural marvels, including Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, Seoul in Korea, and Doha in Qatar.
According to TIME, the World’s 50 greatest places of 2022 was compiled by its international network of correspondents and contributors, with an eye on those providing “new and interesting experiences.”
Meanwhile, the Department of Tourism (DOT) applauded the inclusion of the island on the list.
“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 Frasco said.
“Surely, the Philippines has a multitude of sites and tourism activities that we could offer to the world. And, in addition to natural resources, we look forward as well to developing and promoting the talents of our people and the products that have potential for national and global marketability,” she added.
Boracay is known as one of the top tourist destinations famous for its white sand beaches and exciting night life activities, not just in the country but also around the world.
Recently, the QR code requirement in Aklan was lifted with the exclusion of Boracay as a precautionary measure to help prevent COVID-19.
According to Aklan Governor Jose Enrique Miraflores, those who are planning to visit the island would still be required to secure a QR code before entering.