Boracay Resort Island Missing Airlift
One of the Asia's most famous beaches with fabled white sand that many rank amongst the worlds best is finding challenges in growth marred by a lack of airlift. Lacking space on the isle itself, traditionally tourists have had to fly into Kalibo which is over an hours drive away and then take a boat from the mainly. A small domestic runway in Catlican which catered to smaller STOL (short take off and landing) aircraft, it was recently closed for upgrading.
Plans call for a new US$62 million international airport on nearby Romblon island, which can serve as a hub to Boracay via a 15-minute boat ride. The announcement has spurred property prices now for beach front land in Romblon now in the region of US$100 per square meter. Investors are already flocking into the area which has considerable expanses of beach grade resort real estate.
While the new airport won't be operational until 2012, international hotels such as the recently opened Shangri La in Boracay are going to struggle with the all-important airlift constrained to the destination. Certainly this factor for Phuket is a key to its tourism numbers and with capacity on the rise with the expansion of new LCC (low cost carriers) international flights makes it increasingly attractive for short and long haul travelers.