Ivory Coast's 'Floating Island' points to greener tourism

  • Sunday 25, August 2019 08:43 AM
  • Ivory Coast's 'Floating Island' points to greener tourism
Sharjah24 – AFP: The seaside resort offers visitors a cool drink or tasty meal, a dip in a pool, a karaoke session or an overnight stay, all with a view.
Nothing much new there, you may say -- creature comforts like this are pretty much standard in tropical hotels.

The big difference, though, is that this mini resort is also a moveable island that floats on plastic bottles.

Riding on the laguna in Abidjan, Ivory Coast's economic hub, the unusual complex floats on a platform made from 700,000 discarded bottles and other buoyant debris.

Its inventor, Frenchman Eric Becker, says his creation can help greener, more mobile tourism -- something less harmful to seas and coastlines than traditional fixed, concrete resorts.

His "Ile Flottante" -- French for "Floating Island" -- comprises two thatched bungalows and a restaurant with a bar, two small pools, trees and shrubs and a circular walkway, spread out over 1,000 square metres (10,700 square feet).

Visitors are brought to the moored island by a boat. Water is provided by a pipe from the shore. Electricity is supplied by solar panels, backed by a generator.

But it was when he came to Abidjan and saw the lagoon that the vision of a floating, moveable island came into his mind -- and he sold everything he owned to achieve it.

The first step was to forage for everything floatable -- "plastic bottles, bits of polystyrene, even beach sandals."

The island charges 15,000 CFA francs ($25, 23 euros) per person per day, which includes a meal and the ferry, and 60,000 CFA francs for a night.