SOUTHEAST ASIA'S idyllic islands under tourism strain.

THE six-month closure of the Philippine tourism island of Boracay for a revamp after the country's president branded it a ''cesspool'' reflects -

The growing pressures on beach resorts across Southeast Asia as a visitor members surge.

Tourism experts say the region's infrastructure is buckling under record visitor numbers, especially as more Chinese holiday abroad, and expect more drastic measures to come.

Airports have become chaotic, hotels are being thrown up hastily with little regard for safety and sanitation, tropical beaches are strewn with garbage and coral reefs are dying.

Thailand already has plans to shut its famous Maya Bay in the Phu Phi islands or four months this summer, while an environmental group is calling for urgent government action to tackle a ''crisis'' on the Indonesian tourist island of Bali.

''Many out-of-control destinations across Asia will need clean ups,'' said Brian King, associate dean of the School Of Hotel and Tourism Management at  Hong Kong Polytechnic University.

''These may come from government, or industry or from NGO-driven community action. The danger is that little happens until the crisis point is reached.''

He added : ''Boracay, which is not the first and won't be the last closure.''

Airlines have already started to cut back flights to Boracay, which had 2 million visitors last year, with the largest foreign contingents coming from China and South Korea, ahead of its closure on April 26.

The Philippines, which had record visitor numbers last year after three years of  double-digit  growth, estimates the Boracay closure could reduce full-year GDP by 0.1 percent. [Agencies].


Post a Comment

Grace A Comment!