Asia

Nickelodeon scraps plan for underwater Philippines resort

Nickelodeon character Dora the Explorer Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The network said the resort would allow fans to interact with characters like Dora the Explorer

US children's television network Nickelodeon is abandoning plans to build an underwater theme park on an island in the Philippines.

Environmentalists said the planned resort on Palawan island would damage the area's world-famous marine ecosystem.

The island is home to some of the most diverse coastlines in South East Asia.

An online petition calling for the project to be scrapped attracted more than 260,000 signatures.

Viacom International Media Networks, which owns Nickelodeon, said: "[Viacom] and Nickelodeon will no longer be involved with this proposed development".

They added that the decision was "mutually agreed" with its Philippine partner, Coral World Park.

Image copyright AFP
Image caption Palawan island is home to a world-famous marine ecosystem

In January, Nickelodeon said it would build a themed resort that would let fans "interact with the brand and the iconic characters they love", including SpongeBob SquarePants and Dora the Explorer.

They said it would open in 2020 and feature restaurants and lounges six metres (20ft) below sea level.

It provoked a backlash from conservation groups, who call Palawan island the Philippines' "last ecological frontier" because of its relatively untouched coastlines and forests.

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