The government of Philippines is looking to shorten the closure period of Boracay, which is the popular tourism destination attracted more than 2 million tourists in last year.
According to the Tourism Minister of Philippines, the government may reopen after four months, but they will slash the number of visitors to save the island from the pollution.
Tourism that a master plan to redevelop Boracay Island has turned into a “cesspool” due to pollution. According to President Rodrigo Duterte, Boracay will be a livable and greener space for the community.
Boracay, which will be closed to local and foreign tourists from April 26, has joined other beach resorts across Southeast Asia facing growing pressure due to a surge in visitors.
The government wants to save the tiny island that generated 56 billion pesos, or over $1 billion, in 2017, but the island cannot cope under the strain of two million tourists a year.
When it will reopen, the number of visitors to Boracay, which a decade ago was found to be capable of accommodating only about 25,000, will be limited. The number of people on the island now tops as high as 75,000. The environment is undertaking a study to determine the island’s “carrying capacity”.
The rehabilitation in Boracay Island involves the demolition of more than 900 illegal structures, improvement of waste management, and expansion of drainage and sewage systems.
Boracay is located on the northern tip of the central Panay island. As it is the tourist hotspot, Boracay is home to more than 30,000 people and about 1,800 businesses, including global hotel chains.
Boracay generates 90 to 115 tonnes of trash a day, of which only 30 tonnes are shipped out regularly to a landfill on a nearby island.
expects that the foregone revenues from the shutdown to be at “around 7 billion pesos”, or even lower if the closure period is shortened to four months.
By Latifa Zenaina