The Department of Tourism (DOT) of Philippines hails the inclusion of Boracay Island among TIME’s 50 extraordinary destinations to explore in 2022.
“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 Garcia Frasco said in a news release Wednesday.
“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 Island joins other world-famous destinations and natural wonders on the list, including the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, Seoul in South Korea, and Doha in Qatar, among others.
In 2018, a six-month closure of the island was imposed by the previous administration to make way for rehabilitation and redevelopment initiatives.
“Then the pandemic struck, and the Philippines closed its borders, halting even domestic tourism to Boracay. It took a severe toll on the local economy, but the silver lining was that this 4-sq.-mi. speck in the Visayas island chain had proper time to truly recover. As of February 2022, international visitors can finally revel in this revamped, recuperated, natural playground after what was effectively a three-year convalescence. Locals report the return of flora and fauna, like sea turtles, and hospitality has come back just as spectacularly,” wrote Charlie Campbell of TIME.
“Through collaboration between the DOT central and regional offices, relevant national government agencies, the local government units, and the private sector, we will exert all efforts to put in the limelight not only the country’s premier tourist destinations like Boracay, but also other places of interest in the country which may not have been given equal focus and attention in the past,” Secretary Frasco said.
In coming up with its list of 50 World’s Greatest Places for 2022, TIME solicited nominations from its international network of correspondents and contributors, putting focus on places “those offering new and exciting experiences.”