Heading to the Philippines? This Popular Destination Is Closing for 6 Months
But for good reason...
If you’re travelling to the Philippines in the next 6 months then firstly - congratulations, you’re winning at life, and secondly - listen up: because one of the country’s most popular destinations is being closed to tourists.
The island of Boracay, a paradise-style haven of white-sand beaches, clear water, and coconut trees, is now off-limits, as the government try to protect the natural ecosystem from deterioration caused by heavy tourist traffic.
How heavy? In 2017 alone, the four-mile island - which is also known for its parties - hosted over two million domestic and international visitors. Yeesh.
It’s not just traffic congestion and illegal construction that have been taking their toll - insufficient sewage management has also been linked to an increase in algae on the beaches, and tests indicate that the water has been contaminated.
Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte hasn’t exactly been backward in coming forward with his thoughts, slamming Boracay as a ‘cesspool’, and apparently telling Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu: “I’ll give you six months. Clean the goddamn thing”.
Well, there’s nothing quite like being direct. The six-month closure of the island is set to begin on April 26, and so far Philippine Airlines and Cebu Pacific Air have both confirmed that they will offer refunds and rebooking opportunities.
OK so it might be a bit annoying if you’d been planning a trip this year, but far more important that we protect our natural world - so good on the Philippines government - yaaaaaaass.
By Lizzie Cox