Last ‘open season’ for tourists visiting Phi Phi’s Maya Bay

There will be no limit on the number of tourists allowed to visit the famed Maya Bay near Phi Phi Island during the upcoming tourism high season, confirmed Worapoj Lomlim, Chief of Phi Phi National Park.

In fact, for better or worse, no protective measures to prevent environmental damage by over-tourism will be enforced until June of next year, Worapoj said yesterday.

“There will be no changes and no limit on the number of people allowed to enter and visit the bay until the ‘restoration period’ begins in June of next year,” Worapoj explained.

The “restoration period” will give the heavily visited area four months — from June through September of 2018 — to recover from the hordes of tourists that plague the beach each year.

From June of next year, the national park will start to limit that number of boats allowed to enter the bay, Worapoj assured.

However, the exact number of boats and visitors allowed to visit the bay each day during the recovery period has yet to be set, he added.

“We know there are many problems brought on from the number of tourists visiting the site, but it is difficult to regulate as the boats that bring the tourists arrive from many different areas from different provinces, namely Krabi, Phang Nga, and Phuket,” Worapoj said.

“This issue is very important but right now I can’t give a number of how many [people and/or boats] will be allowed to visit the site each day,” he added.

“At our best estimate at this stage, we are looking to allow an average of 2,400 visitors per day, but this is not yet confirmed as we have yet to best balance the number of people visiting the area, the damage done to the environment, and the livelihood of all the people who rely on bringing tourists to Maya Bay,” Worapoj noted.

Story: The Phuket News

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