Sustainable Boracay dev’t sets the trend
April 1, 2017
It has all the trappings that make for a perfect summer getaway, enabling this island paradise called Boracay to attract tourists by the droves.
And year after year, this small island in Aklan, famous for its powdery white sand and the 4-kilometer stretch dubbed as the finest beach in the world, continues to teem with tourists wanting either a glimpse of the famous Boracay sunset, the famed tropical party lifestyle that can be had, or both.
For this year alone, the volume of tourist arrivals in Boracay was expected to grow by roughly 6 percent to 1.8 million, according to Felix G. Delos Santos Jr., chief tourism operations officer in Malay, Aklan.
Delos Santos explained that tourist arrivals in the 1,032-hectare island had been on a steady rise. From only 229,509 tourists recorded in 2000, Boracay posted a record high in arrivals last year at 1.725 million.
“It’s really all about the products and services we offer here—from ecotourism, extreme sports activities, land tours, health and wellness, to the entertainment and the gastronomic experiences that you can get in Boracay,” Delos Santos explained.
The influx of tourists, however, has started to put a strain on the island, highlighting the urgent need for many business owners to look into the environmental sustainability of their respective operations.
Model of sustainability
One development on another side of the island though, is out to become a 150-hectare model of sustainability.
This new integrated tourism development called the Boracay Newcoast, which accounts for about 15 percent of the total area of the island, is hoping to become an “inspiration.”
Jennifer Palmares-Fong, vice president for sales of Boracay Newcoast, explained that this project from real estate giant Megaworld Corp. is a masterplanned development that would feature sustainable solutions to preserve the natural environs of the island.
For one, 60 percent of Boracay Newcoast will be devoted to green and open spaces. It also features wider paved roads; makes use of electric-powered vehicles; and has solar panels that can generate a portion of its electricity requirements for street lights and common areas.
On this side of the island, the development has an underground utility system; a centralized sewage treatment plant to prevent waste spill into the sea; a materials recovery facility; and detention tanks at storm drainage outfalls to arrest oil sediments and debris from storm runoff prior to disposal, among others.
During the construction, Megaworld likewise advocated for the use of environment friendly materials, and building techniques.
“We want to help the island in taking care of the environment. We are partnering with the local government so we can be an inspiration and a trailblazer in sustainable development as well,” Fong added.
The Boracay Newcoast will consist of six phases namely the Newcoast Village; the Shophouse and Boutique Hotel districts; condominium clusters; Newcoast Station; an international hotel and leisure center; and a commercial and mixed-use development.
“It’s a sustainable township development and we’re offering a convenient lifestyle here in Newcoast. Usually, Boracay is known for short getaways or for summer vacation. We saw an untapped market for those want to stay longer or who want to make Boracay their home,” Fong explained.
A clear advantage in investing at Newcoast, according to Fong, is that they offer “titled lots” for both residential buyers and business owners.
The Newcoast Village will be the residential area offering subdivision lots of up to 375 sqm, while the Oceanway Residences will form part of the condominium clusters.
The Shophouse district, which will serve as big outdoor market, is a residential commercial area wherein owners can put up shops in the lower floors and have the top as their residence.
Hotels that will be put up in the area include Savoy Hotel, which is slated to open on April 18; Belmont Hotel; and the Chancellor Hotel.
Meanwhile, the beach at the Boracay Newcoast side also offers the same powdery white sand that the island is famous for. A jetty port will also be built for future guests in the area.
With all these features on hand, it is indeed hoped that this project will serve both as inspiration and a trailblazer of sustainable development in the island paradise that is Boracay.