BORACAY Island in Aklan, the country's top tourist destination, has become a victim of overdevelopment, a tourism advocate said.
Xander Kim Sigua, executive director of Tourism Educators and Movers (Team) Philippines, said what happened to the island-destination is an example development without planning.
President Rodrigo Duterte had earlier ordered the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to conduct necessary “cleansing” of the island.
If environmental problems in Boracay are not resolved in six months, the President warned to shutdown business operations there.
“They keep on developing Boracay to the point that it now became the victim of being overdeveloped,” Sigua added.
The Team Philippines is an organization that pushes for stronger awareness on sustainable tourism.
The group’s counterpart in Western Visayas recently initiated a tourism awareness conference in Bacolod City.
It was aimed at showcasing innovative and competitive ways on how to diversify, build, and sustain local industry economies across regions in the country.
Sigua, at the sidelines of the activity, said all tourism developments including those in Boracay should have sustainable development plan which is normally being ignored.
He said the island has turned into a “city” with many commercial establishments operating, with more even coming.
“They only realized that it should not be that way if the destination is already a victim of overdevelopment,” Sigua said.
At present, there are many potential destinations in the country, including Western Visayas, he said.
These may again be subjected to development without proper planning, Sigua said, stressing that “the concept of sustainable tourism is not about having many hotels.”
It is instead a kind of development that provides importance on sustainability especially of resources, he added.