After Boracay’s recent six-month closure and fairly successful reopening, the government is prepping for the rehabilitation of El Nido, another one of the country’s top tourist destinations. But unlike Boracay, El Nido will not be entirely closed to the public.
According to the Department of Tourism (DOT) the root of El Nido’s problem is overcrowding. The island is filled with too many motorized boats, kayaks, and stand up paddle boards which cause pollution.
Similar to what was done for Boracay, the government is also looking to determine the maximum carrying capacity of the island. Once they figure out the ideal capacity, authorities will limit the number of tourists and visitors.
Palawan’s local government has already begun the massive cleanup operation by closing down various establishments. Those in violation of environmental laws and easement zones were given a two-week ultimatum to comply.
As of today, more than 70 hotels in El Nido and other tourist establishments are at risk of closing. Once the establishment has proven compliance, however, they will be allowed to reopen.
While formal instructions and laws concerning the rehabilitation of El Nido from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) is still pending, certain areas around the island have already began implementing stricter rules.
Starting later this month, the El Nido-Taytay Managed Resource Protected Area office will start imposing a daily visitor limit in three of its major tourist attractions. Only 720 guests are allowed in the Big Lagoon each day, with a maximum of 60 per 45-minute interval, while the Small Lagoon is allowed half the number of visitors. Secret Beach will only allow 144 guests per day, with only 12 allowed at a time.
Aside from limiting the number of visitors, activities such as fishing, grilling, and cliff diving is no longer allowed in the area.
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