Destinations

Closure of Thailand tourist hotspot extended until 2021

The most famous beach in Thailand will be tourist-free for two years, according to Thailand’s National Parks Department.

Maya Bay, popularised by the film The Beach that starred a young Leonardo DiCaprio has been closed since late last-year, following its original closure tasked from June to September that led to an indefinite closure of the beach.

In early October, Thailand’s Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation (DNP) said the ecosystem needed more time to recover, and that the closure would be extended “until natural resources return to normal”.

The ecosystem needs more time to recover, and the closure would be extended “until natural resources return to normal”.

With the recent announcement, as covered by CNN and TIME, it looks like that closure will again be extended into the indefinite future.

According to Songtam Suksawang, director of Thailand’s National Parks Department (NPD), Maya Bay will be off-limits to tourists until at least June 2021.

Maya Bay has been closed since June last year as part of a rejuvenation project for its decimated corals.
Maya Bay has been closed since last year as part of a rejuvenation project for its decimated corals. Over-tourism, boat traffic and warming waters have played their part in the destruction of the region’s reef.

“We will review again then if it is ready to open to tourists,” Suksawang said. “We need more time to allow nature to fully recover. Our team will reassess the situation every three months.”

The director’s comments sound awfully familiar, not just for Maya Bay, which has gone through a slew of closures due to damages caused by over-tourism, but also for several other Thai national parks.

Each year, the DNP closes several national parks for a period to allow for ecological recovery time. Depending on weather and park conditions, dates vary as the closures are often due to extreme weather, especially during the rainy annual monsoon that may create unsafe conditions.

In Krabi, which has three national parks, the DNP closes Ko Rok Nok and Ko Rok Nai, Ko Ngai, Mu Ko Ha, and Kong Hin Daeng-Hin Muang in the Mu Ko Lanta National Park, from 16 May to 14 October every year.

Furthermore, the Department has closed Ko Yung in Hat Noppharat Thara-Mu Ko Phi Phi National park and the trekking trail of Khao Phanom Bencha National Park, until further notice.

SEE WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING

Leave a Reply

Aviation

Hooray! Qantas and Jetstar increase domestic flights

Like Travel Weekly’s editor, this news is sure to have you making plane engine sounds with your mouth in celebration.

Share

CommentComments

Hotels

Hotel Wrap: Langham expands to the Gold Coast, IHG launches domestic recovery campaign + MORE

Keen to convince your clients that hotels really are on the mend? Introduce them to this week’s Hotel Wrap.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Aviation workers hold rallies across Australia to demand JobKeeper access

The rallies took place as new research revealed that 70 per cent of workers have been stood down, with 40 per cent unable to receive JobKeeper.

Share

CommentComments

Cruise

Silversea unveils a whopping 86 new itineraries

Got a client who’s keen to get back on the seven seas? Get their attention with this big new offering from Silversea.

Share

CommentComments

Events

Luxperience goes virtual for 2020

Had you lost all hope that the premier luxury travel event was still going ahead this year? Restore it here with this.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

ASIC reviewing Rex statements over capital city expansion

Australia’s corporate watchdog is reportedly reviewing comments from Regional Express Holdings’ deputy chairman, which potentially breached the Corporations Act.

Share

CommentComments

Road & Rail

Road & Rail Wrap: Avis launches subscription service, Rail Europe’s new site and app coming soon + MORE

After stopping off the side of the highway for a quick kip, Travel Weekly’s Road & Rail Wrap is back, all nice and refreshed.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

Cyprus offers to pay travellers’ COVID-19 bills

Cyprus has gone to new lengths to lure travellers back to the Mediterranean by offering to pay costs for anyone whose trip is ruined by COVID-19.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

Major Japanese theme parks ask guests not to scream on rollercoasters

As the world begins to reopen, tourism operators have begun rolling out new and creative ways to prevent the spread of COVID-19. This one is particularly unusual.

Share

CommentComments

Tourism

Cover-More CEO exits

The global travel insurance provider has waved goodbye to its chief, but not before signing him up to a premium policy.

Share

CommentComments

Technology

Afterpay makes online travel play

If COVID-19 wasn’t already enough of a challenge for travel agents, a new OTA has entered the ring.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

Tourism Malaysia’s new Aussie director on the destination’s big marketing shift

by Huntley Mitchell

The destination is placing much more of a focus on its digital presence and “smart partnerships”, as it looks to recover from the impacts of COVID-19.

Share

CommentComments