Reinvigorated Boracay will attract a new generation of well-heeled timeshare holidaymakers to the island’s cleaner, green environment
When the Philippines island of Boracay reopened for business after a forced six-month closure, one of the first companies to welcome guests back to the island was leading holiday ownership group Astoria Vacation and Leisure Club Inc (AVLCI).
The company utilised the island’s closure, which was instigated by the Philippine Government due to rising pollution levels and overuse, to completely reinvigorate and future-proof its own accommodation offerings to ensure an exciting sustainable tourism future.
The upshot of the reboot of Astoria’s Boracay properties is that the properties will become even more attractive for potential visitors when the island’s tourism business returns. For starters, both Astoria Current and Astoria Boracay have reopened after refurbishments.
While the enforced closure of Boracay obviously impacted negatively on developer finances, the closure and subsequent clean-up of the environment has changed the island for the better. Importantly, it has helped ensure the long-term sustainability of the island.
There are new strict rules and regulations in place designed to ensure Boracay becomes renowned for its natural beauty rather than its former reputation as a party destination. These range from restrictions on visitor numbers to new regulations around water treatment, food consumption and even the activities allowed on the island.
Designed to ensure the island’s long-term sustainability, the Philippines government initially took action before Boracay headed too far down the path of overtourism as seen in some other South-East Asian destinations. Their actions are already paying dividends with tourism authorities suggesting the island is returning to its former pristine beauty. Hopefully, the government’s decisive action will see Boracay placed at the top of most “Best Islands in the World” lists once again.
Active role in clean-up
Throughout the closure period, Astoria played an active role in the island’s clean-up and the company worked tirelessly alongside the authorities to help speed up the process of rejuvenating the island. In a bid to make its own properties more sustainable, Astoria began an extensive renovation of the Astoria Boracay property and refreshed its Astoria Current property before its recent reopening of both properties.
The new look of the Astoria Current lobby.
Astoria’s management in many ways worked as a partner with the Government and local tourism authorities across the rejuvenation process. A good example was the voluntary demolishment of Astoria's Stellar property to allow for much needed infrastructure improvements on the island even though the property was compliant with the new regulations. The good news for Astoria members and RCI timeshare members is that the property is now being entirely rebuilt and will be the only new resort built on the island due to a government moratorium on all new development.
Beyond the implementation of new regulations across the island, there is a strong consumer campaign being put in place to educate people about sustainable development and looking after the environment.
Astoria’s management has encouraged guests to conserve water and launched a simple water conservation initiative by placing notices in each of its guest rooms.
New friends in tow
Beyond working hard with local tourism authorities to support a range of environmental initiatives, Astoria is not only promoting its own properties but the whole island through its member services. This commitment to raising awareness of the new Boracay also extends to Astoria’s exchange partner, RCI.
It is a reflection of the close relationship Astoria shares with RCI which has evolved over the years. Not only does the partner relationship work for members of both companies, but in conjunction with Astoria’s growth, RCI has supported them through every step of their development.
When the company last renewed its affiliation agreement with RCI, Mrs Vivian Ng, Chief Operating Officer of Astoria Vacation & Leisure Club Inc reiterated, “It is a relationship which keeps getting stronger”.
“Renewing our affiliation with RCI was an easy decision for us because RCI brings innovative solutions to the table during every step in our business cycle,” she said.
Jonathan Mills, Managing Director for RCI Asia Pacific & DAE Global, said the company enjoyed a very long and successful affiliation relationship with Astoria and “are thrilled to continue this mutually beneficial affiliation”.
Beachfront of Boracay, Philippines.
Both companies share a common philosophy based on a belief in “walking an extra mile” and committing oneself to excellence in dealing with our guests.
Boracay’s future is going to be great especially for timeshare owners. By the end of next year, Astoria will have reopened all its resorts and they will all be taking bookings. The newly rebuilt Stellar property will welcome visitors to the island with a fresh experience, being the only new purpose-built accommodation allowed to be developed on Boracay.
More importantly, the work done by Astoria on Boracay will serve as a blueprint for sustainable development for many of its other exciting developments in the Philippines. It all makes for an exciting time for timeshare owners and holidaymakers as Astoria continues to expand.
RCI believes it will exceed booking numbers from previous years because of what the rejuvenation of Boracay has done – to provide guests with an even greater holiday experience and the island with a greener more sustainable long-term tourism future.
This article is part of the Boracay Insight Series, produced in partnership between RCI and Astoria Vacation & Leisure Club to support our industry. To find out more about how RCI can support your content needs, CONTACT US