Isabella Steger, Is Banning Beach Parties, Quartz, October 15, 2018
Boracay No Longer a Cesspool
In April, Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte ordered a six-month closure of the tourist hotspot of Boracay after he said poor sewage treatment there had turned it into a “cesspool.” Today (Oct. 15), the island reopens for a 10-day dry run before officially welcoming tourists again on Oct. 26—with a large list of restrictions.
Duterte said today that “Boracay is no longer a cesspool,” as the island reopened its doors to locals only after a host of upgrades were implemented, including a new system to take trash out of the island everyday, a beach clean-up, and new rules mandating how hotels should treat their sewage. The government also said that the number of tourists allowed to enter Boracay will be capped, and flights to the island would be limited.
Through the WI Lens
This is a taste of things to come. Last April, Rodrigo Duterte, the Philippine president, ordered a six-month closure of the tourist hotspot of Boracay’s island because of poor sewage treatment. It is now reopening for a limited period before officially allowing tourists again later this month. However, a large list of restrictions will affect how tourism will develop on this island in the years to come: the number of tourists will be capped with only limited flights. Once on the island, they will not be allowed to engage in beach parties and practice water sports. Even the construction of sandcastles will be limited, possibly banned.
Over-tourism has been a growing global concern for years and what’s happening in Baracay island is happening in many other locations affected by the same problem: Thailand, Venice, Chamonix – just to name a few.
Greater regulation provoked by over-tourism is a given that will provide a boon to companies and small businesses which are more “responsible”. ESG strategies (based upon Environmental, Social and Governance criteria) will benefit. In aggregate, this is a tailwind for the wellness industry in general, and wellness tourism in particular.
“On such fragile foundations are built the first steps towards a more ethical kind of business, and who knows what virtuous circles might result?”
“Scientific evidence recently emerged that, contrary to earlier beliefs, Covid-19 can be spread by tiny droplets that we breathe out when we respire, called aerosols.”
“Economic wellbeing is part of the story, but it is also about finding less stressful lifestyles, in which healthy diet figures as a meaningful measure of success.”
“The industry has every asset needed to be a guiding light in the shift toward personal health priority. Will that become a prevention legacy, a ‘phoenix rising’ from the Covid-19 ashes?”
“Looking at the bigger picture, putting the measures in this order represents a lost opportunity that the pandemic could have offered for a cultural pivot pivot towards getting people more focused on their health, a powerful statement of intent.”
“Employment is necessary to fulfil our most basic human needs such as food and shelter. Any significant increase in long-term unemployment will spell a retrograde step for human wellbeing like no other.”
“All roads lead to a wellbeing anchor, whether that be economic/financial, physical, mental or emotional: all contribute to a progressive and inclusive cosmopolitan world. The answer should not be a choice of one or the other but of a joined up and compassionate solution for society, business and individuals.”
“The paradox is that we continue to do this in spite of recognising that striving to become ever-more productive is an intrinsically unhealthy behaviour, leading to stress and too often, a sense of failure.”
“The same broad-sweeping structural racism that enables police brutality against black Americans is also responsible for higher mortality among black Americans with Covid-19,” Maimuna Majumder, a Harvard epidemiologist working on the Covid-19 response, tells Vox.
The take-out from this? Wellbeing cannot exist at a more elevated level without our basic needs being met.