Thailand’s Maya Bay made popular by 2000 movie The Beach forced to close
BANGKOK: Thailand’s popular Maya Bay was brought to worldwide recognition following Danny Boyle’s 2000 film The Beach starring Leonardo Di Caprio, but the scenic tourist spot is soon to close due to excessive number of tourists.
Millions gushed over the natural beauty of Thailand’s Maya Bay with many adding it to their must-see list.
But it seems the bay’s booming tourist trade has come at a cost with it’s 5000 tourists daily causing “critical” damage to its coral, The Independent reported.
Local authorities have been left with no choice but to shut it down for three months during its off season, between June and September.
Jean-Luc Solandt, principal specialist of Marine Protected Areas, revealed tourists only accelerated the deterioration of the coral’s condition.
“Tourists are both ignorant of the damage they can cause by touching corals, and grabbing them, and also tend to be more clumsy than experienced divers.”
He also revealed suncream from tourists ran into the water and also caused considerable damage to the coral, even killing it.
With tourism booming in nearby Phuket and Krabi, calls to close the beach permanently have so far been dismissed.
“Temporary closures can help to a certain extent. But an ideal solution is a permanent closure, which is not possible due to our reliance on tourism revenue,” Marine ecologist Thon Thamrongnawasawat at Bangkok’s Kasetsart University said in an interview.
Maya Bay is not the only attraction to cut back on tourists with the Croatian city of Dubrovnik limiting tourists off cruise ships to 8000 a day following its rise to fame after its appearance in hit TV show Game of Thrones.