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Thailand Reopens the World Famous Maya Bay Beach to Tourists

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Thailand Reopens "The Beach" at the World Famous Maya Bay

Maya Bay, a white sand beach made famous by Leonardo DiCaprio’s 2000 film “The Beach,” has reopened in Thailand over three years after being closed to allow its ecosystem to recover from the impact of thousands of tourists each day.

It is located on Phi Phi Leh island, in the Andaman Sea. It is only accessible by boat from nearby Phuket or Phi Phi islands, as well as mainland Krabi.

In 2018, authorities closed Maya Bay completely to tourists because they said constant tourist activity had damaged coral reefs and beaches. However, some visitors have been allowed back since January.

Yuthasak Supasorn, the governor of Thailand’s Tourism Authority, told Reuters that sharks have returned, coral reefs have regrown, and the water is clear again.

“These things indicate that nature will heal over time if we give it time, and we must also work to keep it that way.”

For now, swimming will not be allowed because the authorities want to keep the area safe. Only 375 visitors are allowed at a time. According to officials, boats will only be allowed to dock at a designated location at the back of the bay so as not to damage coral reefs.

How Tourism and Fame Ruined the Maya Bay Beach in Thailand

Thailand’s tourism industry made up about 12% of the economy before the Coronavirus pandemic and was a primary driver of growth, attracting 40 million visitors in 2019.

Unfortunately, mass tourism has often harmed the environment in Thailand and other parts of Southeast Asia, with once-beautiful tropical beaches becoming strewn with garbage and polluted.

This beach is stunning, it’s one of the best beaches in the world,” said Manuele Panin, a 40-year-old Italian tourist.

To protect the environment and allow it to regenerate, I think it’s fine that it’s been closed all this time.

CTN News

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