Thai Bay Made Famous By 'The Beach' To Remain Closed Until 2021
Maya Bay, a lovely beach on the Thai island of Phi Phi Leh was closed due to environmental and preservation concerns and will remain so until at least 2021, the country's National Parks Department has confirmed.
Basically, the place needs a chance to chill out so that it remains as lovely as it is and can be free from ecological destruction by tourists.
The bay is home to coral reefs that need time to regenerate and repair from the damage done by the hordes of tourists who were previously flocking there.
It actually closed to tourists last year after it was realised that damage was happening at the site as a result of the tourism influx off the back of the popularity of the 2000 film starring DiCaprio.
Well, that and it's just a really nice place to visit, anyway.
So nice, in fact, that it has been reported that as many as 5,000 people were visiting daily before the beach was closed. That was destroying the environment, specifically the coral reef areas.
Now that the area has had a bit of time off, black tip reef sharks are starting to return, which is a sign of improvement.
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At least it might keep a few people out of the water, too.
At the time of the beach closure, a prominent marine scientist and member of Thailand's National Strategy Committee on Environment Development, Thon Thamrongawasawat, said: "It's like someone who has been working for decades and has never stopped.
"Overworked and tired, all the beauty of the beach is gone. We need a timeout for the beach.
"This would be a good way to start managing our tourist destinations. And we can improve on what we learn after the first year.
"We know that it's important we manage our resources well. It's not about more numbers of tourists but about sustainable tourism that benefit locals as well."
Thanya Netithammakum, head of Thailand's National Parks and Wildlife Development added: "If you ask me if it is too late to save our islands, the answer is no.
"But if we don't do something today, it will be too late."
Well, at least these measures mean that tourists who come along in the future have a beautiful beach to go to.
Featured Image Credit: PA