Thailand has announced the indefinite closure of Maya Bay to restore the environmental damage done to the idyllic destination best known from the movie “The Beach.”
Yesterday, the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation declared that Maya Bay will remain closed from tourism until the area’s ecosystem recovers fully. How long that will take has not yet been determined.
Originally, the department ordered the closure of the bay from June 1 to Sept. 30, but then an additional month was added before the decision was finally made to close it indefinitely.
Worapoj Lomlim, the chief of Nopparat Ara-Koh Phi Phi National Park in which Maya Bay is located, said a four- or six-month period is simply not enough for the damaged coral reefs to recover from the impact of tourism, so the experts agreed to close off the bay indefinitely.
He added that the department has planted over 1,000 coral reefs in the Maya Bay area, and they need more time to fully grow, Channel 7 reported.
Before its closure in June, about 4,000 tourists flocked to Maya Bay daily to take pictures of its unique rock formation. Due to its popularity, the once-pristine bay became known as an overcrowded tourist destination.
This is Maya Bay’s first closure in 30 years, and recent photos released by marine experts are proof that the beloved bay is becoming more and more beautiful each day thanks to its long break from tourism.