Characteristics and Impacts of Ecotourism In The Municipalities of Basco and Mahatao, Batanes

Main Article Content

K.L. F. Viola R. A. Gomez


This was conducted to document the extent of ecotourism activities based on the demand function and the correlation of tourism visits (or arrivals) with ‘tourism-related’ services and amenities. It also assessed the impacts of eco-tourism in terms of solid and amenities. It also assessed the impacts of eco-tourism in terms of solid waste generation, water quality and water supply. The field work phase of the study was conducted in the months of May and June 2006.


Results showed that the level of ecotourism in  Batanes was quite or relatively high. Based on the tourism arrivals from 1995 to 2006, there was an increasing trend. With the number of visitors reaching past the two thousand plus mark. The demand curve values (R2 value of 0.4803 and R value of 0.69) showed a more or less definite pattern of visitation by tourists, and it also reflected that Batanes is generally well visited place by tourists. The willingness to pay (WTP) of an individual in each zone showed that the visitors from Zone 3 (Ireland) had an WTP of less than about Php 450, 000.000. This implies that people from other countries (e.g. Ireland) were willing to spend big amounts of money to enjoy the recreational value offered by the eco-tourism sites in Basco and Mahatao.


There was no significant correlation among the number of tourists with the number of restaurants, lodging houses, and souvenir shops. However, the number of tourists and the public transport units showed a significant correlation.

In 2005 the estimated volume of solid waste produced by the two communities together with the tourists has increased to 1,227,431.44 kilograms from 944, 987.20 kilograms in 1995. Moreover, biodegradable wastes were “not frequently seen and in small amounts” (Rank 4) while non-biodegradable wastes were observed to be “frequently scattered in the sites but in small amount” (Rank 3). The impacts of these wastes might take many generations to be realized but it might still have impacts that would cause destruction to the environment.

The water quality utilized for drinking, washing and bathing purposes was still generally “very clean” (Rank 2) in the two municipalities in 2006, with a better perception towards “extremely clean” (Rank 1) in Mahatao. Generally, the water quality in the two municipalities is “very clean” and still safe for the needs of the public as perceived by the community respondents. There was a slight change in water quality in the two towns especially in the more urban town of Basco. Ecotourism activities may still have contributed to this change in water quality, as a consequence of the influx of more people into the place.

Majority of the respondents also perceived that the water supply in the two municipalities is not enough for their daily needs for the whole year. In general, the volume of water distributed is insufficient for both community and the tourists. The impacts of ecotourism activities on water supply could thus aggravate the problem on insufficiency in the coming years.

Article Details