Philippines to shut popular tourist destination that’s become a ‘cesspool’

MANILA, Philippines — Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has approved the closure of the tourist destination of Boracay for up to six months after saying the waters off its famed white-sand beaches had become a “cesspool” due to overcrowding and development.

Duterte approved the total shutdown of Boracay as a tourist destination starting April 26 in a Cabinet meeting Wednesday night after extensive discussions of its impact, including ways to help about 17,000 workers who may be displaced, tourism undersecretary Frederick Alegre said Thursday.

“This is not about profit, it’s about the political will to deal with years of neglect of the environment,” Alegre said. “We need to act swiftly to save the island and avert its further deterioration.”

Last February, Duterte said Boracay’s water has turned into a “cesspool” with human waste being discharged into the sea.

More than 2 million tourists visited Boracay last year to enjoy its powdery beaches, spectacular sunsets and festive nightlife, generating about $1 billion in revenue. But the influx of tourists, neglected infrastructure and growth of resort establishments and poor settlements have

Article source: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2018/04/05/philippines-shut-popular-tourist-destination/489086002/

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