Published on : Saturday, November 7, 2020
The Thai government is reportedly planning to restart tourism in Maya Bay in line with Thailand’s reopening in order to boost tourism in Phuket. Maya Bay is recognised as one of the most popular tourism spots in Thailand ever since it started attracting international tourists after it was popularized by the release of the Hollywood film The Beach, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, nearly 20 years ago.
The recognised Maya Bay has been closed since mid-2018 to rehabilitate the beach and surrounding coral reefs affected by overtourism. Natural Resources and Environment Minister Warawut Silpa-Archa said at the opening ceremony for a 360-degree viewpoint tower on nearby Koh Hong that the uninhabited island may be reopened in six months.
A panel of environmental experts will be consulted on a possible reopening of the bay and strict rules will be applied due to the COVID-19 situation. Officials are planning to cap the number of tourists that can visit the island every day with a maximum of 350 visitors likely to be allowed entry. However, boats will be prohibited to dock near the shoreline. Warawut added a pier is also under construction at Loh Sama Bay located on the other side of Phi Phi Leh Island.