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Iconic Pacific island to cut back visitation


Citing reasons of overtourism, authorities in Chile have unveiled new restrictions on visitation to Easter Island.

 

From this week, new laws have reduced the amount of time tourists and non-locals will be able to stay on the Chilean territory from 90 to 30 days.

  

 

Carved by the Polynesian Rapa Nui people, Easter Island is most famous for its Moai statues that stand at 10 metres tall and number around 900.

 

And despite its isolated location (some 3,500 kms from Chile), the island has become a tourist magnet, so much so that in March, congress voted to limit the number of tourists and foreign/mainland residents allowed on the island and how long they’re allowed to stay. 

 

"Foreigners are already taking over the island," Mayor Pedro Edmunds told AFP, referring to its non-indigenous visitors.

 

According to AFP, a 2017 census showed 7,750 people were living on the island, a number almost double that of a few decades ago.

 

"They're damaging the local idiosyncrasy, the thousand-year culture is changing and not for the good," remarked Mr Edmunds, who stated the current population was around 3,000 too many.

 

The mayor added that crime and domestic violence figures were also rising and that unwanted "customs from the continent" were infiltrating the island.

 


Written by: Mark Harada
Published: 2 August 2018


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