If you’re planning on visiting either one of these islands, you may want to read this latest piece of information we have for you.
NST reported that Thailand and the Philippines are shutting their famous beaches, Maya Bay and Boracay respectively, despite their risk on tourism revenues and the job market.
According to reports, Maya Bay island that was once famously featured in the movie ‘The Beach‘ starring Leonardo DiCaprio, will shut down starting June 2018 while the Philippines will close Boracay for six months at the end of April 2018.
“Islands have very fragile eco-systems that simply cannot handle so many people, pollution from boats and beachfront hotels,” said Thon Thamrongnawasawat, a marine expert in Bangkok.
“Coral reefs have degraded by warmer seas and overcrowding. Sometimes, a complete closure is the only way for nature to heal.”
He also added that more than three-quarters of Thailand’s coral reefs have been damaged by the rising sea temperatures and unmonitored tourism. Oh dear!
Prior to this, Thailand had already closed other dive sites in 2011 due to the unusually warm sea that caused damage to the coral reefs in the Andaman Sea. Similarly, in 2016, they had also shut down some islands.
On the other hand, on a visit last month (February 2018), President Rodrigo Duterte had referred Boracay to a ‘cesspool’ because of the sewage that was dumped directly into the sea and the emergence of buildings constructed too close to the shore, which is deadly to the island’s environment.
Thus, to curb the problem, their government had recommended the closing of the island for six months.
However, not everyone is on board with this idea because the Philippine Travel Agencies don’t agree with shutting down the island as a whopping 36,000 jobs are at stake. That’s a lot of jobs!
“We support the government in adopting responsible and sustainable tourism practices… but not in shutting the whole island,” they said.
Nevertheless, Thon still warned against these short-term fixes.
“Tourism is important, but we need to preserve these spaces for our generations, for future livelihoods,” he explained.
Well, it looks like we can’t go to any of these paradises anytime soon. In the meantime, let’s hope they restore these beautiful islands close to their original state before they’re reopened again!
I actually found the news in my local newspaper. They said that Koh Phi Phi ley had more than 4,000 visitors dayly. They will first shut down the access to the uninhabited island from June September included this year. They will then restrict the access to 2,000 visitors a day.
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Having been there during the low season I had been impressed by the crowd in Maya bay (and I was alone in my speed boat). Koh Phi Phi Don is also developing so fast that I wouldn’t recognize places I had been to 4 years earlier. If you haven’t been there yet, it’s time to find a few days and visit the place. I had first visited Koh Phi Phi when it was easier to ask a ladyboy for a LT at affordable prices (my last life at the scale of the Andaman Sea).
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