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Island Paradise to Close Down for Six Months

Boracay Beach
Photo by Angelo Juan Ramos

Views from the Edge

Sometimes, you can love something to death. Or, at least cause extreme environmental damage.

Boracay, the world’s favorite island is being closed from visitors for six months starting next month into September.

Boracay, an island in the Philippines that has the kind of powered white beaches and see-your-feet-clear water that inspires cliches about islands, has been inundated with tourists, a victim of its own popularity.

Voted as the top choice on a list of best islands in the world in 2017 by readers of Conde Nast, Boracay is simply being overwhelmed by millions of visitors seeking their island paradise — 2.1 million visitors in 2017 alone. The 4-square mile island is a victim of its own beauty threatened by environmental digression, traffic congestion, insufficient solid waste management, illegal construction, property disputes, illegal fishing … and more.

Boracay Beach
Photo by Tuderna

While local residents will be allowed to come and go, tourists will be blocked at the mainland. Airlines promised to offer refunds and rebooking if necessary. No details if the government will reimburse the local businesses for the millions of dollars in lost revenue.

While it is cut off from visitors, the government will improve the infrastructure, construct a sewer system, clear the famous beaches of illegal structures, and inspect legal buildings and businesses to make sure they’re abiding by construction and environmental regulations.

 

Boracay Beach Sunset
Photo by Sarahr

 

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources has only been researching Boracay’s ecosystem and tourism’s impact on it for a decade, and new research this year is expected to help to determine the island’s “carrying capacity,” or the maximum number of people the island and its infrastructure can support, all at once.

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