Thailand: access to the bay made famous by the movie "The Beach" restricted

In Thailand and more precisely on the island of Koh Phi Phi Ley, the bay made famous by the film The Beach with Leonardo DiCaprio and the two French actors Virginie Ledoyen and Guillaume Canet, will be completely closed to tourists for four months during the summer and then access will be restricted thereafter, announced the authorities on March 28, 2018.

2,000 tourists allowed per day

" We will close Maya Bay for four months between June and September to allow the ecosystem to regenerate ," Songtham Suksawang, director of national parks, told AFP. " The boats will be able to approach the bay but will not be able to dock and no one will be allowed to enter ," he added. And from October 2018, the beginning of the high tourist season, " we will only allow 2,000 tourists to come by day ," said Thon Thamrongnawasat, a scientist who is part of the group taking part in discussions.

Location of Maya Bay © Google Maps

The Behavior of Tourists Pointed Out

Currently, some 4,000 tourists visit this small bay every day, an overpopulation that damages coral reefs. to the environment. Thailand welcomes more than 35 million holidaymakers each year, a higher figure every year, especially because of the boom in Chinese visitors. Foreigners are fascinated to watch tropical fish with a simple mask and snorkel, but at the same time the country is facing an advanced degradation of its coral reefs. In addition to global warming, the behavior of these tourists, who do not hesitate to walk on the corals, but also the superabundance of tour operators offering dive trips to the day on these islands supposed to be protected by their status of national parks.