Located at the north of Cagayan de Oro and south of Bohol is a picturesque beach destination called Camiguin Island. For the past few years, the quaint isle has been gaining traction as a laid-back alternative to other destinations in the Philippines, and it is expected to welcome at least one million tourists this year. Because of this, the local government of Camiguin has decided to “embark on a study on its carrying capacity,'' focusing on the tourists’ environmental impact.
Camiguin’s Governor, Jurdin Jesus Romualdo, stated that they would like to welcome more visitors to the island, but want keep the foot traffic within the proper carrying capacity.
The local government is aiming to create a sustainable tourism industry in Camiguin, and they believe that minimizing tourism’s environmental impact is a key step towards achieving this goal. They are planning to establish carrying capacity limits in their ecotourism sites so they can “determine the maximum number of individuals of species that can be sustained by the environment.”
According to reports, around 500,000 tourists visited the province from January to September of 2019. Gov. Romualdo said that the growth in the number of visitors might be because of the increased number of flights going directly to the island.
In cooperation with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), they will gather data that will serve as a reference for infrastructure, population, water consumption for households, hotels and resorts, waste generation, wastewater, biodiversity, municipal profile, and other limiting factors. In turn, they will use that number as a benchmark as to how many people the island can carry, and this may mean that they will limit tourists when the need arises.
Aside from this, they are encouraging tourists to take part in the conservation of the island’s clean and beautiful environment.
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