Under the strain of mass tourism, the famous island of Koh Phi Phi Leh and its surrounding Maya Bay were forced to close temporarily.
The destination, made famous by Leonardo DiCaprio’s movie The Beach in 1999, was once a pristine, untouched beauty. Today, an average 200 boats and 4,000 beachgoers flow in and out of Maya Bay daily.
The delicate ecosystem, coral reefs and sea life took a major hit from all of the tourist activity. In order to help the area recover, the beach will face a temporary closure this summer.
Koh Phi Phi Leh is not the first or last beautiful destination to feel the sting of overtourism and pollution in Asia. In Boracay, a resort shut down for six months, starting this month, after Philippine President Rodgrigo Duterte called it a “cesspool” due to the sewage it dumped directly into the sea. The nearby island of Calaguas agreed to clean up its own operations in response to Boracay’s issues.
Tour operators estimated more than 36,000 jobs would be threatened by the temporary shutdown while the sewage system is reconstructed. South Korean airline Air Seoul suspends flights to Boracay starting at the end of April. While the closure will only last three months, more permanent measures will be implemented in the future to maintain a healthy balance for the destination.
The small, once quiet, island of Palawan has implemented daily visitor caps in central areas of El Nido after a surge of tourism in 2016, following being named the world’s most beautiful island by Condé Nast Traveler. Halong Bay in Vietnam faces similar overcrowding issues, resulting in tourist deaths due to boat tour operator negligence.
As these destinations face the brunt of overtourism, it is clear there can be too much of a good thing, especially when considering the most beautiful destinations in the world. These ancient and beautiful wonders are to be protected and conserved.
Princess Premier, a new add-on recently launched by Princess Cruises, offers cruise-goers unlimited WiFi, premium/top-shelf beverages, photos and more. The new offer builds off the popular Princess Plus add-on to bring guests a more comprehensive bundle and savings of more than 50 percent when all the amenities are purchased separately.
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ISN’T IT TIME? It's time to treat yourself to the vacation you deserve, and Celebrity Cruises® offers the perfect escapes. With an award-winning fleet of ships that sail to more than 300 destinations around the world, Celebrity will take you almost anywhere you want to go in style. Enjoy stunning staterooms and suites, culinary experiences imagined by Michelin-starred chefs and intuitive service. Celebrity makes sure your vacation is effortless from the start, which is why drinks, WiFi and tips are Always IncludedSM on every sailing.
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