Sunday, April 11, 2021

Boracay's Environmentally Conscious Tourism


Boracay Island in the Philippines is one of the topmost tourist destinations and remains one of the top beaches in the world. 

The island has been recognized by various international magazines to be on the top list and it contributed to the influx of tourists from all over the world.

What I like about Boracay is its diversity; from different nationalities to the different locations where it suits the taste and preferences of the tourist. It's like a melting pot of cultures and personalities making it truly a world-class tourist destination.

Boracay Island may seem like a perfect paradise, but it has its hidden imperfections uncovered. I've seen it! I was there in April 2016, about 2 years before the President made an order for the island's closure for rehabilitation in April 2018.

For years, big businesses like hotels have deceived tourists and their hotel guests by providing reading material that explains the occurrence of the algae that makes the shoreline dark green and unsightly. I can't believe how they're able to disseminate disinformation by making it appear normal and natural occurrence.

I saw the big pipes from establishments that are connected to the shore; where untreated sewages are flowing, making the water in the area dark green and dirty. 

The president called it a cesspool, and that observation was just right. Then he ordered a 6-month closure of the island. That was a tough sacrifice for the thousands of businesses and island workers and the number of affected tourists. The projected billions of pesos lost for the island's tourism weren't taken into consideration, but to pursue its rehabilitation for intended revitalization.

What can we do to help our tourism have a significant impact on its sustainability and environmental protection? I believe that the 6-month rehabilitation of Boracay made us realize that money from tourism alone won't make us truly rich and progressive, but our environmental consciousness as a tourist will help tourist destinations like Boracay to be truly sustainable and highly livable.

Tourism is our number one industry and it's booming before the Covid-19 pandemic came. When the lockdown happened, tourism was down and almost dying, but we've seen clean and crystal clear waters of Boracay. It means that business establishments and tourists greatly contribute to the pollution of the island.

Do we need a 6-month rehabilitation of our topmost islands every 6 years? Well, that would surely hurt tourism, but it's for the good of the environment. We need to balance our tourism and its environmental impact so we can truly call it a paradise.

There's great progress in Boracay as compared to the first time I visit the island in 1998. It's becoming too commercial, and the island may have lost its serenity and pristine vibe and ambiance due to its fast-growing present-day development.

We need to boost more and promote our tourism. We have the best islands and beaches in the world, but we need a responsible and ethical business owner, and for us to be environmentally conscious tourists. We leave no trace, but footprints and great memories. 

When we're able to travel again without restrictions, we'll now become better tourists and together, we help revive our tourism and our God-given paradise.

©️ 2021 Del Cusay


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