the monsoon season and rough sea conditions have indeed hindered the efforts of coral rehabilitation, but we have no doubt that the longer term objectives ... will be met.”
Thailand attracted up to 35 million visitors last year, many of whom flocked to Krabi town where boat trips carried visitors to nearby island destinations – of which Maya Bay is a key attraction.
Nanthapat Horbut, who runs a tour company in Krabi, was “disappointed” by the closure as his company had promised Maya Bay to customers booked for Thailand’s tourist high season which begins in November.
“All tourists ... want to see Maya Bay, both Chinese and western tourists alike,” Nanthapat said.
Paul Pruangkarn of Pacific Asia Travel Association – a nonprofit working with Thaioperators to promote responsible tourism – said the decision was a double-edged sword for local communities.
“You need to also consider the livelihoods,” said Pruangkarn. “They still have to feed themselves and support their families.”
“The government has to consider how then can they assist them.”
Countries across the region are waking up to the problems of plastic waste and environ-
Tourists bask in the sun on the Maya Bay beach, on the southern Thai island of Koh Phi Phi, in April.