Kalanggaman Island, Palompon town, Leyte, Philippines.
PHOTO BY DEPARTMENT OF TOURISM
TACLOBAN CITY – A 750-metre long island in the Philippines will not be available to tourists without reservation from April until the second week of May.
That is because the popular Kalanggaman Island in Leyte province’s Palompon town is fully booked during the period, an official said.
Raoul Bacalla, head of the Palompon municipal environment and natural resources office, said on Tuesday that tourists made reservations for April and May as early as last year.
“That is why we have been asking people who wanted to visit Kalanggaman to call us first for reservations for them to be accommodated,” Bacalla said.
Since they opened the island to tourists in 2012, the local government has only allowed 500 tourists on the island on a daily basis to avoid overcrowding and pollution.
The 750-metre long uninhabited island is a prime tourist destination in this town, popular for its long stretch of white sand.
The island also features a more than 700-metre long picturesque sandbar on the eastern side and the about 250-meter long sandbar on the western part.
“Please call our office first or visit our website and Facebook fan page to inquire before coming to Kalanggaman because even if you are already in Palompon, we will not accommodate due to limited carrying capacity,” Bacalla said.
Bacalla recalled that when they imposed the carrying capacity regulation on the island, the move was considered by others as unorthodox.
However, after President Rodrigo Duterte ordered the closure of Boracay Island for six months to undergo rehabilitation, Bacalla said most local governments with tourist destinations looked up to the island as a model for best practices in tourism promotion and environmental protection.
“That is why the role of local government is very important for those with tourist destination because they have to put policies to protect the integrity of the destination before prioritizing the profit that comes from tourists,” Bacalla said.
Aside from enforcing a maximum carrying capacity, the local government also regularly closes the island to tourist for at least two weeks every year, for them to do clean-up and let the island recover, breath, and rest from the presence of visitors. PNA/GAD/Expat Media
Palompon Eco-tourism Office hotlines: +63 (053) 555-9731, +63 0926-816-4005, +63 0926-816-4007 and +63 0999-555-1421.
Entrance fee: P500 (Dh35) for foreigners and P150 (Dh10.50) for Filipinos
Overnight stay fee: P750 (Dh52.50) for foreign tourists and P225 (Dh16) for locals.
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