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Boracay island in Philippines to reopen on October 26 – but with tourist cap and NO beach parties

The tourist destination will be back in business on October 26 after a six-month rehabilitation effort.

But the number of visitors will be limited – with just 19,000 holidaymakers allowed on the island on any given day and the number of workers capped at 15,000 daily.

According to the environment official, Sherwin Rigor, only half of the island's 12,000 existing hotel rooms will also be allowed to open each day, to ensure the number of guests on the tiny 4-sq-mile island is below its "carrying capacity" of 55,000.

Rigor, who is an undersecretary at the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, added that authorities would also ban beachfront parties, and activities such as eating, smoking and drinking there.

Boracay, located off the northern tip of the central island of Panay, is famed for its sugary white sands, turquoise waters, lively nightlife and abundant water sports, which attracted nearly 2 million domestic and foreign visitors last year.

But in April, President Rodrigo Duterte ordered the closure of the island, calling it a "cesspool", because of sewage dumped into the sea and buildings constructed too close to the shore.

He also claimed the beachfront had become "over-developed" and threatened to declare a "state of calamity" over the island's pollution.

Describing the sewage, last month he told inspection officers, "as long as there is s*** coming out of the pipes, draining out to sea, I will never give you the time of day."

About a third of the 600 to 700 resorts on Boracay, about 192 miles from Manila, the capital, were operating without permits, authorities found.

The closure of Boracay, which earns the Philippines more than a billion dollars in tourism revenue every year, weighed on gross domestic product in the second quarter.
Boracay is a top destination for local and foreign tourists, attracting nearly 2 million visitors last year.

In 2017, it was voted the third best island in the world by the Travel & Leisure magazine awards.

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