By Jezza A. Nepomoceno
MALAY, Aklan, June 13 (PNA) — Government officials of Malay town in the province of Aklan were grateful that Puka Beach in Boracay Island made it in CNN’s list of 100 best beaches in the world.
Councilor Jupiter Aelred Gallenero, who spoke in behalf of Malay Mayor Jhon Yap, said the recognition was an added boost to Boracay’s booming tourism.
“We are very proud and happy that Puka Beach was handpicked in CNN’s survey. This can help us in our effort to sustain Boracay’s promotion in the world,” Gallenero said.
The lawmaker added that Boracay remained the top tourism destination among foreign tourists despite the issuance of travel ban to the Philippines by Taiwan and Hong Kong early this year.
Records from Department of Tourism in Western Visayas showed that Boracay welcomed 670,479 foreign and domestic tourists from January to May.
Of the total tourist arrivals, 29,623 were Taiwanese and 3,595 were Hong Kong nationals.
Gallenero said more and more tourists fall in love with the island especially Puka beach’s one of a kind Puka shells that spurred operation of 20 souvenir shops in Boracay.
But beyond recognition, Gallenero said Puka Beach’s media exposure can also heighten their advocacy to protect the island while promoting it as world-class destination at the same time.
Gallenero said protection of the island’s land and marine resources is still their priority.
“There is no let-up in the enforcement of environmental laws governing the island’s resources. We cannot let human activities ruin the island’s beauty,” he stressed.