The Department of Tourism and the Municipality of Malay inaugurated last Friday the Boracay Tourist Information and Assistance Centre (BTIC), located at the beach front of Station 2, formerly Boracay Boat Station 2, in Barangay Balabag, Boracay Island in Aklan, to better address the various information, safety, and security concerns of tourists.
The Boracay Tourist Information Centre was inaugurated at a very opportune time with the unfolding of the summer season, as a lot of domestic and foreign tourists have started flocking the popular party-island in the Philippines, making it really more FUN in the Philippines and in Boracay!
“Boracay is very much the face of Philippine tourism today: beauty and constant improvement in action. And that is the work we will continue to work on,” Tourism Secretary Jimenez said.
The Centre aims to deliver more accurate and up-to-date tourism-related information to visitors, as well as strengthen risk reduction and management systems for the safety and security of tourists.
Smart Communications volunteered to renovate the old boat station and transformed it into the Information Centre. City Watch Snaptech, an expert in rendering emergency and medical response services, has been tapped to conduct basic response seminars for volunteers in the island. Meanwhile, Lifeguard Rescue Team, will be on alert for technical rescues. As an adjunct to this effort, the Philippine National Police’s (PNP) Tourist Assistance Desks maned by Tourist Police will serve to complement the newly-launched BTIC.
DOT Undersecretary Maria Victoria Jasmin said, “We are installing tourist information and emergency medical response counters in all these destinations, and we are piloting it in Boracay considering it is one among those with high tourist traffic all year-round. This is a collaborative project of the Department, the local government of Malay and the private sector, represented by the Lifeguard Rescue Team, City Watch Snaptech, and Smart Communications.”
In inaugurating the Centre, Secretary Jimenez proudly exclaimed: “Boracay is a genuine Filipino brand. Ano po ang ibig sabihin niyan? Pumapasok po sa travel agency ang mga tao sa ibang bansa, hindi pa namumutawi sa kanilang bibig ang salitang Pilipinas, binabanggit na ang salitang ‘Boracay.’”
In closing, the Tourism Secretary encouraged Boracay stakeholders to continue being the inspiration for the rest of the country. “Continue to inspire your country. Be the Boracay we will always be proud of. And I guarantee you, you are not going to get competition from the rest of the Philippines. You are going to get recognition from your people as being the place where the Filipino brand called "Boracay" finally calls the Filipino brand to rise,” Secretary Jimenez beamed.