Maya Bay Beach in Thailand has reopened to tourists
The beach at H. Yadiya is open to visitorsFour years after the closure of one of Thailand’s most recognizable tourist destinations, earlier this month the Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment announced the reopening of Maya Bay (Maya Bay). The reopening of the nature reserve was made possible after extensive restoration efforts, and in order to avoid further damage and allow the area to continue to be rehabilitated, the authorities have established new infrastructure that will allow for a sustainable visit and establish up-to-date visit procedures. The opening coincides with the reopening of the country to tourists and in the photos you can see that it has been refilled with tourists.

For four years, authorities cleaned up the mountains of garbage that had accumulated on the beach and in the water, planted trees, planted plants and “planted” coral in the reserve, about half of which became extinct due to the congestion of visitors. The Lonely Planet report shows that thanks to these actions, the animals are also starting to return to the place and the community of marginal black sharks has grown from only six in 2018 to about a hundred.

The new regulations set a quota of up to 300 visitors in 7-8 shifts a day, and in total the maximum number is expected to stand at about three thousand visitors a day. Additional regulations include the obligation to lower passengers in the floating dock, swimming in a demarcated area, and viewing a safe distance from damage to sand or vegetation on a boardwalk installed as part of infrastructure works.

The Maya Bay Reserve, which belongs to the island of Pippi La on the Pippi Line, starred alongside Leonardo DiCaprio in the film “The Beach” (2000). Year after year, the number of visitors to the tropical paradise increased, reaching a peak of about 6,000 tourists daily in 2018. The publication of photos documenting the piles of rubbish left behind and also turning a spotlight on the enormous damage that tourists – and the tourism industry – caused to the small system’s ecosystem, led to its closure. The rehabilitation process that the nature reserve needed was longer than the authorities’ lack of assessment, and lasted four years instead of four months.

The congestion of visitors has led to an ecological disaster. Maya Bay, Thailand | Photo: JRP Studio, shutterstock

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