MANILA- Around 19,000 tourists may only be allowed to stay in Boracay Island once it reopens in October, Interior and Local Government officer-in-charge Eduardo Año said Friday.
The tourist limit is based on the carrying capacity of the island given its number of workers and the local population, Año explained.
"Based dun sa initial report, lumalabas the carrying capacity of the island is 55,000 people including population, workers, and tourists. Overall, tourist maximum is 19,000," he said.
The world-renowned beach destination was closed to tourists last April so establishments can improve sewerage systems and illegal structures could be torn down.
Once the island reopens in October, Año said parties such as "LaBoracay," a summer festivity marking Labor Day, would no longer be allowed.
He explained that Labor Day parties cause overpopulation in the island since tourist arrivals spike to around 40,000 to 50,000.
This results in over 100,000 people staying on the island at a time--nearly double Boracay's carrying capacity.
"Ang plano natin sa Boracay is magiging ideal tourist resort spot na kung saan makakaasa sila na kapag nandun ka talagang peaceful, malinis at talagang maeenjoy mo," Año said.
(Our plan for Boracay is for it to become an ideal tourist report spot where guests can expect peace, cleanliness and for them to really enjoy it.)
Tourism Secretary Berna Romulo-Puyat earlier said smoking and drinking along the white beach of Boracay will no longer be allowed.
She said some 3,000 to 5,000 hotel rooms can be made available to tourists once the island reopens by Oct. 26.
-report from Jeff Canoy, ABS-CBN News