Showing posts with label Trash. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Trash. Show all posts

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.
 "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.
 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.
 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 -


Thursday, 11 May 2017

#Myanmar (Burma) - No airport extension in Ngapali until trash is slashed

The tourism minister is very keen to “slash the trash” in Ngapali.
 Minister for Hotels and Tourism U Ohn Maung told a multi-stakeholder workshop on sustainable tourism in Ngapali that as soon as he landed and saw the garbage by the roads he wanted to turn round and go home. He noted that this situation was caused by lack of bins and collection and littering by locals and visitors due to a lack of knowledge and discipline. This was harming both Ngapali’s and the country’s image.
The workshop was co-hosted by Hanns Seidel Foundation (HSF), Myanmar Centre for Responsible Business (MCRB) and Myanmar Responsible Tourism Institute (MRTI) from May 8 to May 9. The event was attended by the minister, regional government ministers, parliamentarians, Myanmar Hoteliers Association chair U Aung Myo Min Din, and approximately 80 local stakeholders and tourism professionals, ranging from hotel owners/ managers to local villagers, fishermen and environmental experts.
“Your destiny is in your hands,” U Ohn Maung told the locals and hoteliers, adding that the Ngapali City Development Committee (NCDC) was working to clean up streams and waterways but greater effort was needed from businesses to arrange proper garbage disposal. Local people also needed to take part and that government departments should work together with them.
He said that if the new arrangements were working well by next year, he would then take the steps to arrange for the airport to be expanded in order to encourage more tourism.

Waste management has been identified by the minister as the key challenge to be addressed before Ngapali’s runway can be extended to bring in more visitors and revenue.
 Workshop participants echoed the minister’s concern for environmental pollution and preservation. They voted on their top concerns for tourism in Ngapali, as they had done last year. Environment remained the top concern, and a growing one too, chosen by 35 percent of participants (up from 29pc in 2016). Lack of local participation in decision-making (16pc) took second place. Among environmental concerns, solid waste management remained the top, selected by 55pc of participants (up from 34.5pc last year), with sand mining in second place..
U Saw Lwin, NCDC chair, noted that last week the municipality had acquired a new 3-acre landfill site for all users as part of the measure to improve waste management.
U Ohn Maung noted that new landfill sites had been acquired, along with bins, and that Myanmar people needed to be taught not to litter, starting in schools.
Foreigners, he observed, put the trash in their pocket to dispose of it properly later. Locals throw it out of the window. He called on people who saw someone littering to challenge them to pick it up and dispose of it in a proper manner.
The minister expressed his hope to come back next year and find Ngapali trash-free.
Vicky Bowman, MCRB director, said that the Steering and Working Committees for Ngapali Beach Sustainability, which were set up by the Rakhine State regional government, will need to collaborate closely with local businesses and residents to achieve a trash-free Ngapali.
“The workshop participants made concrete personal commitments to reduce litter such as hotels cutting back on the use of plastic bags and water bottles, providing bins and education campaigns in schools, and the need for local bye-laws and enforcement,” she said.
“It was good to hear the minister clarify that the 10-metre height limit for buildings close to the beach remains in place, not only in Ngapali but in seven other beach destinations in Myanmar,” Achim Munz, resident representative of the HSF, said.
“We also were pleased to hear him reiterate that there would be a clampdown by the local authorities on sand mining on Ngapali’s beaches,” he added.
Combating sand mining, among other environment issues, was also discussed in the workshop, along with mangrove deforestation, guesthouse licensing, human resources development and destination management. The MRTI briefed stakeholders on their ongoing study of the risks of child sexual exploitation, which was conducted with support from UNICEF, and with the approval of the Ministry of Hotels and Tourism.
Source = MMTIMES

Sunday, 30 April 2017

Tonne of trash collected in clean-up at Hei Island in #Phuket


About a tonne of trash was collected during a beach clean-up at Hei Island (Coral Island) in Phuket yesterday.

More than a 100 people, including students from Prince of Songkla University’s Phuket campus, volunteer divers, local vendors and operators, and company workers participated in the morning initiative.
The move involved collecting trash both on the beach and underwater. Among the items collected were fishing nets, glass bottles and rubber tyres.
“We are doing business on Hei island, so this effort is our way of saying ‘thank you’. Cleaning up the island will not only help preserve marine life, but also play a big part in improving tourism,” said Suriya Thamchu, chairman of Nonthasak Marine Co Ltd, which organised the clean-up.
 “We received positive feedback so we plan to do this again in the near future,” he said.
Source - TheNation 


“We received positive feedback so we plan to do this again in the near future,” he said. 

Monday, 23 November 2015

Tradition vs Trash: Officials urge fewer plastic krathong

Almost 1 million krathong were collected from waterways in Bangkok last year. 

Celebrants of this week's Loy Krathong festival have been urged to opt for krathong made of natural materials instead of plastic foam.

 The Pollution Control Department expects a smaller number of the non-biodegradable foam-made items to be deployed during the historic festival this year, based on their gradual reduction over the past seven years.

In 2011, the department recorded around 58,000 foam-made krathong which accounted for 18 percent of the total floating items in Bangkok, said director-general Wichan Simchaya.

This declined to 14 percent in 2012, 12 percent in 2013, and 10 percent in 2014, he added.

Wichan urged the public to help protect the environment by using smaller krathong made of natural materials such as banana tree leaves and flowers, and also suggested sharing one krathong per family or group, reported Thai PBS and PPTV.

Thailand is currently one of five Asian countries responsible for the majority of plastic found in world's oceans as the nation's demand for safe, disposable products is outstripping its waste management capabilities, said a recent report by Ocean Conservancy.

Over half of the world's plastic garbage in the oceans comes from Thailand, China, Indonesia, Philippines, and Vietnam.

Last year almost one million krathong were floated by Bangkokians. The waste was sent to three different disposal units.

Source: Coconuts

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