Tourists in Boracay (Source: AFP)
 
Hanoi (VNA) - The Philippines reopened its resort island of Boracay to tourists after a six-month closure for rehabilitation.

After a six-month hiatus, the Boracay resort site has a new face-lift as buildings were bulldozed and businesses pushed back to create a 30-metre buffer zone from the waterline. Nearly 400 hotels and restaurants deemed to violate local environmental laws were ordered closed.

All water sports save for swimming are banned for the time being, while Boracay's three casinos have been permanently shut down in line with President Rodrigo Duterte's wishes.

The government is now prohibiting large parties on the beach, as well as smoking and drinking in public places. Open fires and the use of kerosene gas or fuel are also no longer allowed on the beach.

The new rules say 19,200 tourists will be allowed on the island at any one time, with the government aiming to enforce that by controlling the number of available hotel rooms. Airlines as well as ferries were told to restrict service to the area.

The 1,060-hectare island, located some 310 kilometres south of the capital Manila, has been hailed as having one of the greatest beaches in the world.

It was ordered closed by President Duterte in April after describing it as a "cesspool" of water pollution.

Boracay welcomed more than 2 million tourists in 2017, generating more than 56 billion pesos (over 1 billion USD) in tourism receipts. - VNA