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Showing posts with label Cesspool. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Cesspool. Show all posts

Saturday, 6 October 2018

#Philippines to rein in visitors to Boracay island, strained by tourism


The Philippines will limit the number of visitors setting foot on its most treasured island resort each day when it reopens to tourists on October 26 after a six-month rehabilitation effort, an environment official said on Wednesday.


Boracay, located off the northern tip of the central island of Panay, is famed for its sugary white sands, turquoise waters, lively nightlife and abundant water sports, which attracted nearly 2 million domestic and foreign visitors last year.


But in April, President Rodrigo Duterte ordered the closure of the island, calling it a "cesspool", because of sewage dumped into the sea and buildings constructed too close to the shore.


About a third of the 600 to 700 resorts on Boracay, about 308 km (192 miles) from Manila, the capital, were operating without permits, authorities found.


Just 19,000 tourists will be allowed on the island on any given day, with the number of workers capped at 15,000 daily, the environment official, Sherwin Rigor, said in a television interview.
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 Only half of the island's 12,000 existing hotel rooms will be allowed to open each day, he added, to ensure the number of guests on the tiny 10-sq-km (4-sq-mile) island is below its "carrying capacity" of 55,000.


Rigor, who is an undersecretary at the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, added that authorities would ban beachfront parties, and activities such as eating, smoking and drinking there.


The closure of Boracay, which earns the Philippines more than a billion dollars in tourism revenue every year, weighed on gross domestic product in the second quarter. Growth slowed to a near three-year low of 6 percent in April-June.

Source - TheJakartaPost

https://12go.asia/?z=581915

Tuesday, 10 April 2018

Southeast Asia's idyllic islands buckle under tourism strain


Airports have become chaotic, hotels are being thrown up with little regard for safety and sanitation, beaches are strewn with garbage and coral reefs are dying.

The six-month closure of the Philippine tourism island of Boracay for a revamp after the country's president branded it a "cesspool" reflects the growing pressures on beach resorts across Southeast Asia as visitor numbers surge.

Tourism experts say the region's infrastructure is buckling under record visitor numbers, especially as more Chinese holiday abroad, and expect more drastic measures to come.
Airports have become chaotic, hotels are being thrown up hastily with little regard for safety and sanitation, tropical beaches are strewn with garbage and coral reefs are dying.

Thailand already has plans to shut its famous Maya Bay in the Phi Phi islands for four months this summer, while an environmental group is calling for urgent government action to tackle a "crisis" on the Indonesian tourist island of Bali.
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 "Many out-of-control destinations across Asia will need clean-ups," said Brian King, associate dean of the School of Hotel and Tourism Management at Hong Kong Polytechnic University. "These may come from government, or industry or from NGO-driven community action. The danger is that little happens until the crisis point is reached."

He added: "Boracay is not the first and won't be the last closure."

Airlines have already started to cut back flights to Boracay, which had 2 million visitors last year, with the largest foreign contingents coming from China and South Korea, ahead of its closure on April 26.

The Philippines, which had record visitor numbers last year after three years of double-digit growth, estimates the Boracay closure could reduce full-year GDP by 0.1 percent.

It is also planning to inspect the beach resort of Puerto Galera, on the island of Mindoro, and is already looking at the resorts of El Nido and Coron, in Palawan province, where an influx oftourism and rapid development has put infrastructure under strain.
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 But rival tourist hotspots around the region are not all rubbing their hands at the prospect of the extra revenue from the redirected tourist traffic.
 
Kanokkittika Kritwutikon, the head of the Tourism Authority of Thailand's Phuket office, said the island was at "stretching point", particularly its airport, which has undergone a number of upgrades in recent years to try to cope with overcapacity.

"Our policy is to try to spread tourism around" from Phuket to "secondary destinations that are less well-known," said Kanokkittika. "Apart from guests arriving by plane to Phuket we also have boats coming in, including cruises, so you can imagine how many tourists come through Phuket."

The shutdown of Maya Bay in an attempt to salvage the area's coral reefs - which have been damaged by crowds of tourists and warmer temperatures - follows the closure of 10 popular Thai diving sites in 2016 after a National Parks survey found bleaching on up to 80 percent of some reefs.

Pattaya, south of Bangkok, serves as another cautionary tale.
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 An influx of western tourists from as far back as the 1960s, when American soldiers came on leave from the Vietnam war, and a construction boom in the 1990s transformed it from a picturesque fishing village to a town known for its seedy nightlife and high crime rate.

Thailand's tourism ministry expects 37.55 million tourists this year, up from a record 35 million in 2017, of which 9.8 million were from China.

Shutdowns "too late" 

Benjamin Cassim, a tourism lecturer at Temasek Polytechnic School of Business in Singapore, said the closures of Boracay and Maya Beach could become "test cases" and will be closely monitored by other countries with popular beach resorts.

A non-profit group in Indonesia has been calling on the government to tackle what it calls an "environmental crisis" in Bali, the country's most popular tourist island, which saw more than 5.5 million visitors last year.

Source -  e.vnexpress.net/

 
 

Monday, 9 April 2018

#Philippines to close Boracay resort to tourists for six months


The Philippines has announced its best-known holiday island Boracay will be closed to tourists for six months over concerns that the once idyllic white-sand resort has become a "cesspool" tainted by dumped sewage.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte ordered the shutdown to start April 26, his spokesman Harry Roque said late Wednesday on Twitter, without providing further detail.

The decision raises questions about the livelihoods of thousands employed as part of a bustling tourist trade that serves some two million guests on the island each year.

Boracay has some 500 tourism-related businesses, which had a combined annual revenue of 56 billion pesos ($1.07 billion) last year.
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However in February Duterte blasted the tiny island's hotels, restaurants and other businesses, accusing them of dumping sewage directly into the sea and turning it into a "cesspool".

Officials have warned the island's drainage system is being used to send the untreated sewage into its surrounding turquoise waters.

The environment ministry says 195 businesses, along with more than 4,000 residential customers, are not connected to sewer lines.

 In February the government said a total of 300 businesses faced "evaluation" for sanitary or other offences on the 1,000-hectare (2,470-acre) island, of which 51 had already been handed official warnings for violating environmental regulations.
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Environment Undersecretary Jonas Leones told AFP last month a closure would involve having airlines and ferries suspend their Boracay services and making the beaches off-limits, and stationing police there "if necessary"
"An iron fist is needed to bring it back to its previous condition. It will be a temporary thing," Leones said.

The Boracay Foundation Inc., a business industry association on the island, had asked the government to shut down only those violating environmental laws.

"It's unfair for compliant establishments to be affected by the closure," Executive Director Pia Miraflores told AFP.

Miraflores said that even before the ban was announced, its shadow had hit some businesses hard in Boracay.

"The tour guides have already complained that they have no more guests. There's already a huge effect," she said, adding the quays and jetties were "less crowded" than before.

Some couples who scheduled their weddings on the island up to a year or two in advance had cancelled their reservations even before the ban was announced, she said, with the tour agents also besieged with client calls on whether to pursue their planned trips. 

With more than 500 hotels, Boracay employs 17,000 people, apart from 11,000 construction workers working on new projects.

Source - TheJakartaPost