Boracay Island is located in Western Visayas from Region Six of the Philippines with neighbors such as the island of Panay, the province of Negros, and many small islands. Boracay is about 2.5km wide at each end and 7km long…
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The question now lies on whether the advantages or the benefits afforded by tourism growth in Boracay outweigh the negative effects of having too many people on the island without adequate control measures.
This paper will look into the social, economic, and environmental effects of tourism growth to the Boracay Island and its people. It will also deal with the Boracay preservation efforts by both private and government groups, and the applicable laws on environmental protection as implemented by Philippine government agencies.
Social, Economic and Environmental Effects of Tourism on Boracay Island
Tourism development in Boracay has generated both positive and negative effects on its environment, lifestyle, and people. The most obvious effect is the income generated not only by the island, but by the Philippines as a whole from the influx of foreign tourists and investments. The beauty of the island serves as the lighter or the positive side to the perceptions of other countries towards the Philippines. There are however adverse affects associated with tourism development in Boracay.
In the social realm, the social experiences of the local people have changed in that they are now more exposed to frequent external visitors, both foreign and domestic. Their lifestyles including their social activities and livelihood have changed due to the modification of their environment from a sleepy rural town to a lively urbanized tourist destination. Conflicts are created within communities due to land being valuable. Property rights and land titles are being debated upon. There was clearly a lack of zoning or guidelines. Neighbors argue over their property limits. The poor become...
Impact of Tourism to Boracay Island Development
The island was placed under the management control of the Philippine Tourism Authority and land titles were forbidden. Active planning which was commenced in 1982 by the Philippine Tourism Authority utilized the services of a private company who developed a land use plan. This plan was called the Helberg plan which involved the establishment of control measures such as the 50 meter beach setback, use of native building materials, and height limitations (Trousdale, 1998). The Helberg plan up to this day was never implemented. This is just the beginning of the height of tourist or visitor traffic to the island. The succeeding years saw reorganizations, planning, forming of new regulations, implementations, and still a growing number of people visiting and settling in Boracay.
The beauty of Boracay, its serenity, its culture, and its people need to be protected from environmental and health hazards because the island does not only generate revenue for both private individuals or companies and the Philippine government, but it provides a tranquil getaway and it is a source of pride for the Filipinos. Sustainable development is the key to preserving Boracay Island so it can be enjoyed and appreciated by future generations. No matter how big the revenue a resort or hotel owner gets, and how big the earnings of the government are, if Boracay becomes a health hazard and a major environmental concern, then businesses will collapse and the revenues earned will be useless.
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