Hanoi (VNA) – Thailand’s famous Maya Bay will be closed indefinitely to allow it to recover from the impact of heavy tourism.

Local authorities announced on October 3 that according to their monthly evaluations, the ecological system has been found to be seriously destroyed after serving up to 5,000 tourists each day.

Thailand's Department of National Parks, Wildlife, and Plant Conservation announced the indefinite closure in a bulletin published on October 1. It said the restrictions on tourism would not be lifted until the ecosystem "fully recovers to a normal situation".

However, Songtam Suksawang, Director of the National Parks office, said it is a very difficult situation to remedy and rehabilitate as the beach was completely destroyed, adding that it would be “impossible” for full recovery to occur in a short allotted time.

Maya Bay first became famous when it featured in the 2000 film “The Beach” starring Leonardo DiCaprio.

The bay was initially shut for four months in June due to beach erosion and pollution as it sagged under pressure from thousands of day-trippers. However, a survey of the problem during the temporary ban showed that the short-term fix was not going to work and that the damage was worse than originally thought.

Three Thai islands were also made off limits to tourists, namely Koh Khai Nok, Koh Khai Nui, and Koh Khai Nai off the coast of Phuket.

Last April, the Philippines announced a six-month closure of its popular Boracay beach. Indonesia also declared an emergency along a coastal stretch of the resort island of Bali last year due to serious pollution. –VNA