The Philippines has announced a six-month closure of the popular tourist destination of Boracay over concerns the island’s famous beaches and clear blue waters have been transformed into a “cesspool” due to sustained environmental damage.
The closure, which will begin April 26 until September 2018, was announced following a cabinet meeting, and would be a “total closure” to tourists, Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque said. Among the problems caused by the island’s long-running tourism boom is unregulated development and pipes carrying raw effluence directly into the sea.
Nearby airport Caticlan and Kalibo will continue to operate but the tourist will not be allow to visit boracay. Only local people or resident of boracay will be allow to travel to boracay. Airlines have advised their passengers that their bookings may be affected by the closure. Philippine Airlines has said it will refund customers, help them rebook, or reroute affected flights.
The shutdown is intended to provide an extended period to clean up the island and surrounding seas.
More than 36,000 hotel and resort workers, as well as masseuses, tattoo artists and vendors stand to lose their jobs, according to Boracay Foundation, a non-profit. Seven in 10 workers in Western Visayas, a region in central Philippines, are in Boracay.
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