The Phi Phi islands are popular with tourists because they were featured in Danny Boyle’s 2000 film “The Beach”, but the authorities say that the visitors to contribute to the damage to the coral reefs.
This beautiful stretch of sand in Thailand the Phi Phi islands is a bucket-list staple since it was the other star next to Leonardo DiCaprio — Danny Boyle’s 2000 film “The Beach”.
But the paradise-like Maya Bay has become the victim of its own popularity.
Damage by overtourism has forced Thai authorities to close Maya Bay to the public, for the suffering and coral reef to recover.
The beach is expected to be three months.
HAWAII CESSPOOL PROBLEM IS THAT SHE IS A DANGER TO THE BEACHES AND CORAL REEFS
Some 5000 tourists a day visit Maya Bay with boats of the tourist centres of Phuket and Krabi, to contribute to “critical” damage of the precious coral.
In Jan. 2017, a tourist boat exploded in the neighbourhood of the Phi Phi islands, injuring 16 of the 31 passengers.
(Facebook/Thotsaphon Phanomtara via Reuters)
And Maya Bay is not the only tourist spot in Thailand who is forced to close because of the environmental damage caused by tourism: it follows the temporary closure of the popular Koh Khai islands and Koh Tachai, which was regarded as the most beautiful island of the country.
Approximately 77 percent of the coral reefs in Thailand waters are destroyed by the destruction associated with tourism, according to the marine expert, Thon Thamrongnawasawat of Bangkok’s Kasetsart University.
That figure is an increase of 30 percent ten years ago, the German press agency reported.
Dr. Thamrongnawasawat said much of the coral damage is caused by beach hotels, as well as plastic waste was dumped at sea and the boat anchors.
He said temporary closures, such as the three-month closure of Maya Bay, could only do so much to repair the damage.
“Temporary closures can help to a certain extent. But an ideal solution is a permanent closure, that is not possible due to our dependence on tourism revenue,” he said.
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In May 2016, The Thai authorities announced an indefinite shutdown of the immensely popular Koh Tachai, an island on the southern coast.
Tunya Netithammakul, director-general of the department of national parks, wildlife and plant conservation explained Koh Tachai need a chance to recover from the damage caused by tourism.
“Thanks to her beauty, Koh Tachai has become a popular tourist site for both Thai and foreign tourists. This has resulted in overpopulation and the degradation of natural resources and the environment,” he told the Bangkok Post.
“We have to close it to restore the environment, both on the island and in the sea, without being disturbed by tourist activities before the damage is irreparable.”
Weeks later, three Thai islands were made the limits to tourists: the idyllic Koh Khai islands Koh Khai Nok, Koh Khai Nui and Koh Khai Nai for the coast of Phuket.
Some 4000 tourists a day visited the islands for the closure, and the speed boating and snorkelling are the main drawcards for tourists.
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“The Tour groups of at least three hours of swimming, feeding the fish and snorkelling in the water, which causes serious damage to the marine ecosystem, especially on coral reefs, Department of Marine and Coastal Resources regional chief Watcharin Na Thalang said.
He said speedboats in particular — as much as 60 per day — the introduction of a tax of the marine environment.
This article originally appeared on the News.com.au