Philippines’ Duterte Moves to Force Boracay to Close, Clean Up

President Rodrigo Duterte’ s plan to shut Boracay island in order to clean it up can deal a blow to the nation’ s plan to attract 7. four million tourists this year.

Uncontrolled building of too many establishments so near to the shoreline and the lack of sewerage software has created environmental problems for the main Philippine destination famous for its powdery white-sand beaches. In February, Duterte slammed Boracay as a “ cesspool, ” prompting state agencies in order to quickly assess how to resolve the matter.

The heads of the interior, travel and leisure and environment departments are suggesting a six-month closure, and Duterte seems amenable. There were about one million foreign visitors in Boracay last year while the entire country got 6. 6 million tourists, based on the Department of Tourism.

Billions at the Beach

Tourists in Boracay are usually spending more each year

SOURCE: Philippine Department of Travel and leisure

Visitors' expenditure in billion pesos

Some 36, 000 work opportunities stand to be affected, with an anticipated shortfall of about 56 billion pesos ($1. 07 billion) in annualized revenue.

“ We have already observed a lot of cancellations, particularly from The far east and Korea. They have opted for various other destinations like Bali and Phuket, ” Mary Ann Ong, a part of the Philippine Tour Operators’ Organization, said in an interview.

Still, the government has hinted how the gain in the long run could more than make up for the short-term pain.

The clean-up drive will make certain sustainability of the destination at one particular point touted by an international traveling magazine as the best island on the planet, Economic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia said in text message.

“ That may be the minimum that should be done to sensitize and infuse fear in violative resort proprietors as well as tourists who degrade the particular ecology, ” Pernia said.