Mass tourism, curse of the dream beaches of Southeast Asia

Like every day on this paradisiacal island of Thailand, hordes of tourists arrive this morning on the bay immortalized by the film "The beach" with Leonardo DiCaprio, armed with selfie sticks.

"There is too much here, "said Saad Lazrak, a 61-year-old tourist from Morocco, caught up in the crowd jostling on this small beach surrounded by impressive limestone cliffs.

" There is not a place to the beach without someone taking pictures, "says Oliver Black, a 22-year-old tourist

Rangers watching this jewel in Koh Phi Phi National Park try to regulate the incoming outboard waltz and Releasing unceasingly from Maya Bay, with their cargo of tourists.

Authorities estimate that nearly 4,000 tourists visit this crystal-clear bay each day, mostly only a few dozen minutes away, before boarding again. speedboats chartered by one of s many tour operators in the region.

But the good days of these are counted, provide the Thai authorities, Maya Bay to be closed in June – and until September-, "to allow the ecosystem to regenerate, "argues Songtham Suksawang, director of National Parks.

– Regional Phenomenon –

Across Southeast Asia, is found this same phenomenon of tourist overpopulation and its impact on the fragile ecosystem

The Philippines will ban tourists from Boracay Island for six months from April 26.

President Rodrigo Duterte has compared this island, which annually receives about two million visitors (and generates $ 1 billion for the Philippine economy) to a "septic tank", its 500 hotels being accused of dumping their sewage directly into the sea. A widely shared practice across Southeast Asia. [1965] 9002] In Indonesia, the authorities were the first to sound the alarm last year over six kilometers of Bali's dirty shoreline.

The environmental crisis in Bali ended in March in the spotlight with the video turned viral British diver Rich Horner, filming his dive in the middle of plastic bags and other waste, in the tropical waters of Bali.

"Plastic bags, always more plastic bags .. .. ", commented on Facebook the diver, under his video seen more by a million Internet users.

In waste and absence of wastewater treatment is often added in these paradise islands a problem of behavior of tourists , trampling coral reefs, also manhandled by speedboat anchors.

"Tourism has a whole host of negative effects on coral health," confirms Eike Schoenig, marine biologist at the Oceania Research Center Thailand

For countries with mass tourism such as Thailand, Indonesia or the Philippines, it is a question of finding solutions without killing the goose that lays golden eggs.

In Thailand on Maya Bay, the boats will be able to approach the bay but will not be able to dock and no one will be allowed to enter the bay.

– Quota –

And from October, resumption of the tourist season which ends in April-May, the authorities are considering several options, including a quota of the number of tourists allowed on the beach.

Thailand is conducting studies on the measures to be taken for six other marine areas to In Indonesia, the government has identified ten other areas such as Lombok Island or Lake Toba in Sumatra, where to develop the tourism industry.

With the stated goal of releasing Bali from part of its tourist population.

Experts point to the need to take long-term actions, beyond the effects of announcements and closures of a few months, in the low season.

Because the number of tourists continues to grow , as in Thailand, which constantly beats its record of tourists entering its territory.

The boom of Chinese visitors, moving in groups and without ecological awareness, poses a long-term challenge to Asian governments Southeast.

Of the more than 35 million vacationers who visited Thailand in 2017, almost 10 million came from China.

burs-joe-dth / lch / mcj

In Saint-Barth, tourism leaves but housing remains in crisis

Six months after hurricane Irma, tourism is gradually returning to the island of Saint-Barthélemy. But the housing crisis persists and the lives of the inhabitants remain very complicated.

All the visitors who set foot in St. Barthelemy are surprised by the beautiful appearance of the port of Gustavia and the surroundings of the airport. However, by pushing the walk in some neighborhoods, the stigmata of Irma are present. Torn roofs, rickety houses whose only walls remain …

In the Saline district, there are several hundred tons of waste to be evacuated. This single budget item has already cost 7 million euros to the Collectivité of Saint-Barthélemy, and it is not finished. At the center of cleanliness, the teams are overwhelmed.

Same observation on the side of the artisans, too few to answer all the requests for reconstruction. They work hard, construction site in a general desire on the island to rebuild as quickly as possible.

"We are overwhelmed with calls, quotes, we all postponed our holidays and we works six days a week, "says a refrigeration specialist. However, they are hampered by another problem: the transport of materials, which works in slow motion.

In Saint-Barthélemy, where Johnny Hallyday was buried at the end of 2017, the tiny commercial port can not handle all the containers that arrive. It was necessary to make up for the delays related to Irma, to manage the influx of goods. The swell of the hurricane has moved the seabed, and several cubic meters of sand in the channel have created a shoal that prevents some cargo ships from approaching with their full load capacity. Thus, for building materials, such as car repair parts, not forgetting the supply of stores, the whole island is waiting for its parcels.

– And soon the hurricane season …-

Between homes still stricken and the workforce that companies bring, St. Barthelemy is experiencing a severe housing crisis. The rental market, already very tense, has become a battlefield. Entrepreneurs drive up rent prices, conflicts between landlords and tenants explode

"If I do not find in July, I'll have to leave," worries Sophie. In one month's search, she did not visit any homes, received any calls, found no leads. "My life is here, I live there for seven years …" On an island where the price of a rent is about 2,500 euros per month for a 2-3 rooms, many residents have thrown in the towel and left, including families.

In parallel, the tourism professionals s 'activate to bring visitors, without whom the economy of the entire island is threatened. Thus, the port, the airport, the beaches and Gustavia, the capital district of Saint-Barth, have regained their cachet. The Bucket Regatta, a luxury nautical event held in mid-March, saw the return of dozens of wealthy Americans to the island. Not enough, however, for shops and restaurants

The hurricane season, which begins in two months, haunts the spirits. The Irma trauma is still very present. The Community and EDF are working on a tight program of work to bury the maximum of networks, as soon as possible. Those whose homes are damaged are anxious about not being able to repair in time.

The equestrian center, which lost several horses in the hurricane, is looking for a safe place for its surviving equines, and is trying to repatriate the maximum of animals towards the metropolis. At the beginning of March, a general cut in the telephone and internet network brought the inhabitants six months back, in the aftermath of Irma. "Some residents have panicked," says a social worker. "There, if we take a level 2 cyclone, it's going to be very hard."

Vulgar Trump's Comment on Africa is a Tourism Campaign

The comments of US President Donald Trump on Africa initially provoked outrage on the continent. But now, a number of tour operators use it to promote many attractions in Africa.

Trump called African countries a vulgar language meaning "dirty and poor" at a meeting in Washington last week, participants said. The President denied using the words.

The Gondwana Collection, a private tourism company in Namibia, has launched a video showing the natural beauty and wildlife sanctuary in the country located in the southern part of Africa. A narrator mimics the voice of Trump and repeats his statement inviting people to come to the "Number 1 in Africa" ​​country as Trump called.

A Facebook page promoting Zambia tourism contains images of hilly landscapes and slogans that welcome the arrival of tourists to Zambia by using star signs, to represent the vulgar designations used by Trump.

The Botswana government posted wildlife photographs on Twitter in a country he described as a waterhole country "[19659006]