31 Jul 2018

Rapa Nui limiting visitor time to stop overcrowding

7:04 am on 31 July 2018

Rapa Nui will this week limit the amount of time tourists can spend on the island because of concerns it is being overcrowded.

On Wednesday foreigners, including Chileans who are not Rapa Nui, will have their time allowed on Easter Island cut from 90 days to 30 days.

The Moai Statues of Easter Island.

The Moai Statues of Easter Island. Photo: 123rf

Chile, which annexed the island in 1888, put in place the new laws in March in response to a tourism and real estate boom.

Rapa Nui Mayor Pedro Edmunds said foreigners are now taking over the island and damaging its culture, AFP reported.

Crime and domestic violence are also rising.

Under the new laws, anyone living on the island will have to be related to someone from the Rapa Nui people.

Public servants, employees of government service providers and those assisting economic activity alongside their families will also be able to stay.

There will be a yet-to-be-decided population cap imposed as well.