Jonas Gratzer/LightRocket via Getty Images
January 15, 2017

Palawan, in the Philippines, recently took the top spot in Travel + Leisure's World's Best Islands list.

Now the island is in the news for another reason: It's the location that Nickelodeon has picked for building a new underwater theme park.

The entertainment brand announced plans this week to build a theme park and resort there, in collaboration with Coral World Park Undersea Resorts Inc., Asia's first underwater resort developer, according to a statement. The theme park is expected to be completed by 2020.

“We’re thrilled to be partnering with Coral World Park to open the world’s first undersea attraction and Nickelodeon’s first resort in Southeast Asia as we continue to expand on our theme-based attractions in Asia and across the world,” said Gerald Raines, senior vice president for global recreation for Viacom International Media Networks.

The theme park is planned to reside 20 feet under sea level, with underwater restaurants and lounges. But the underwater resort isn't the only thing visitors will be able to experience: “Located amidst a cluster of 16 white sand islands,” reads the statement, “visitors can expect a multi-island experience...that includes island hopping, hidden lagoons, hot springs, an animal reserve, and world-class diving amidst shipwrecks.”

Not everyone is excited about this offering, however.

Palawan is one of the area's most ecologically important areas, and there have been protests in response to the plans: An online petition to halt the plans has been signed by nearly 200,000 people.

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