Maya Bay critically threatened by wholesale tourism

Wholesale tourism is now taking toll on the country's famous Maya Bay in Phi Phi Marine National Park in Krabi province as now it is overcrowded with tourists, as many as 5,000 people on the 250-metre beach in a single day even at low season.

“Will you ever ask the sea if it can handle the influx of tourists of up to 5,000 a day even during at low season,” a well-known marine biologist Thon Thamrongnawasawat warned.

Assistant professor Thon, deputy dean of the Fisheries Faculty at Kasetsart University, warned relevant government agencies of the tourism consequences if nothing was done to prevent such critical situation on this world’s renowned Maya beach.

The warning was posted on his Facebook page after his recent visit to the island with officials of the Phi Phi Islands Marine National Park.

He said he was shocked to see the entire bay was packed with both long-tail boats, speed boat and ferries while on the beach jammed with tourists, with only standing space left.

Those responsible for promoting tourism have done a good job, but they should also think of the consequences that will follow, he said.

He said the park officials told him that a few days earlier Maya Beach alone was visited by about 5,000 tourists each day and the park has collected entry fees of 1.6 million baht from them.

Although he said the collected revenue might be high, but asked whether it’s worth the pollution cost that the small island would shoulder.

He asked that all relevant officials coming out of meeting rooms and going out to see on the scene with their eyes of what was happening there.

He called for seasonal closure of Maya Bay for nature to rehabilitate as now the island is facing coral bleaching, adding if nothing was done the entire coral reefs would die.