Bangkok (NNT/VNA) – Thailand’s famous Maya Bay is to remain closed after it was found that a closure lasting from June 1 to September 30 of this year was insufficient for the recovery of its eco-system. 

Deputy Director General of the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plants (DNP) Jongklai Worapongsathorn and Director of the DNP’s Office of National Parks Songtham Suksawang have inspected the rehabilitation of coral reefs in Maya Bay and the general condition of Hat Nopparat Thara-Koh Phi Phi National Park in Krabi province, following an indefinite extension to their closures. 

Jongklai indicated that despite the four month closure of the nature sites they have seen only limited rehabilitation. He said a closure of one to three years is now being studied due to the critical nature of the bay’s eco-system. The Minister of Natural Resources and the Environment has suggested that tourists to the area be dispersed to other destinations to allow it to fully recover. 

The closure of the national park has been well-received by international environmental groups, which have also agreed with the extension. 

Business operators in the area however have expressed concerns that the indefinite closure will have an impact on tourism as many visitors have booked visits a year in advance. Representative of the area’s businesses Amarit Siripornjutakul, suggested that the park be opened for the final five months of this tourism season before an extensive closure. 

Songtham noted that the national park had not been closed for recuperation in the 20 years prior to June of this year and that the growth of tourism to the area has severely impacted its condition, endangering its eco-system.-NNT/VNA