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Monday 16 April 2018

Meet the tourist destination that is closing because it became too popular

On April 26, one of the most popular resort destinations in the Philippines will shut its doors after becoming too popular.

Boracay will go into virtual lockdown and will be manned by hundreds of riot police during its closure for rehabilitation.

And there could be a permanent cap on the number of visitors to Boracay when the island reopens after its expected six-month closure. 

The island closes for a rehabilitation project later this month after capacity has risen from 25,000 in 2008 to an estimated 75,000. Infrastructure was unable to cope and the beautiful island was described as "a cesspool". 
Tourism Secretary Wanda Teo confirmed a maximum cap on arrivals is being considered and said several mega projects announced for the island before the decision was made to close it down may now be in jeopardy.
These include a $500 million casino resort and a 1,000-room beachfront hotel.

Teo also said the country's tourism target of 7.5 million arrivals this year remains unchanged despite Boracay's closure.

"We will work on it. The target will still be the same. Let's not think that there will be no more tourism when Boracay is closed. Actually, there are still a lot of tourism products that we can offer."
The Government said it was prepared to suffer a blow to tourism by closing Boracay for a massive clean-up that would include improvements to roads, sewerage treatment and waste disposal.
“We have to swallow the bitter pill if we wish to sustain and protect the island of Boracay,” assistant secretary for tourism Frederick Alegre said.
“It is a temporary setback but we will recover the glory days of Boracay.”

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