Tourism hotspot Boracay will be closed to tourists for six months, the Philippine government has said. The move is an attempt to reverse damage to the once pristine shoreline of the island, according to president Rodrigo Duterte.
The closure is expected to take effect on April 26th.
Duterte had earlier this year branded the destination a “cesspool” and threatened its closure to visitors.
However, it is one of the most important tourism destinations in the Philippines, welcoming more than two million visitors annually.
The 500 or so tourism-related businesses will receive financial aid, the government said. The hospitality sector on the island generates revenue of around $1 billion annually.
In line with the closure, Cebu Pacific has cancelled several flights to and from Caticlan and Kalibo in Aklan.
Cancellations will run until at least October.
To serve local residents and ensure continuity of commerce in Northern Panay island, Cebu will continue to operate a reduced schedule, the carrier said.
Cebu Pacific said it was in the process of informing passengers affected by the flight cancellations.
Affected passengers may manage their rebooking or refunds via the website.