Thai authorities have announced that the popular Maya Bay – also known as ‘The Beach’, used in the film starring Leonardo DiCaprio – will remain closed indefinitely. The tourist spot was supposed to re-open this month after a temporary ban on travellers; the ban was put into place on 1 June and was intended to give authorities time to implement a rejuvenation programme, including the installation of boat jetties and the revival of corals, which have been severely damaged by tourism.
However, the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation announced today that the bay would remain closed for the foreseeable future, as the local marine ecosystem will require more time to recover. “The ecosystem and the beach’s physical structure have yet to return to its full condition,” said the agency. Closure will remain in place ‘until natural resources return to normal’.
Maya Bay is part of Thailand’s Hat Noppharat Thara-Mu Ko Phi Phi National Park, a hugely popular draw for tourists, and one that was expected to see up to 2.5 million visitors this year, a rise of half a million compared with last year. The beach’s popularity is due in large part to its use in the famous film.