Boracay Island to shut down temporarily

Published on : Friday, April 6, 2018

indexThe popular Philippine island of Boracay will be shut down for tourists for six months as an aftermath of concerns of damage to its once pristine shores.

 
The closure would begin on 26 April.

 
Earlier this year, the Philippines President Duterte said that Boracay was turning into a “cesspool” and threatened to shut it down. The island, known for its white-sand beaches, attracted nearly 2 million visitors last year.

 
However, this decision of closure has prompted concern for the thousands of people employed in Boracay’s busy tourist trade.

 
The island is home to around 500 tourism-related businesses, which drew in annual revenue of $1.07bn (£760m) last year. The government, however, said affected companies will receive financial aid.

 
The move follows growing concerns over the island’s environmental health. Tourism officials have warned that businesses have been releasing wastewater into the surrounding waters.

 
Mr. Duterte condemned the island’s hotels, restaurants and other tourist businesses, accusing them of dumping sewage directly into the sea.

 
Mr. Duterte said, “I will charge you for serious neglect of duty [for] making Boracay a fishpond or a sewer pool. Either [you] clean it up or I will close it permanently. There will be a time that no more foreigners will go there.”

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