The Beach

The Phnom Penh Post - - LIFESTYLE -

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.”

Tourism over­load

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-

SUWANRUMPHA/AFP LIL­LIAN

Tourists bask in the sun on the Maya Bay beach, on the south­ern Thai is­land of Koh Phi Phi, in April.

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