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10th May 2019

The beach from The Beach will remain closed to tourists until 2021

Jade Hayden

The beach from The Beach will remain closed to tourists until 2021.

Phi Phi Leh island’s Maya Bay was officially closed last year to allow the beach’s ecosystem to recover.

According to authorities, the beach has struggled over the years due to the high volume of tourists visiting the site made famous by Danny Boyle’s 2000 film.

The site was initially close indefinitely, however biologists said this week that the bay has made recovery progress and is expected to reopen in 2021.

Professor Thon Thamrongnawasawat, a marine biologist, said that once the beach does open again, there will be many restrictions in place to ensure the site is not ravaged by humans.

The amount of visitors will be restricted and boats will no longer be able to moor in the bay’s water.

“Everything we have done for the coral today is like an ‘apology’ for being late in protecting them,” Thamrongnawasawat told The Phuket News last year.

“Also, we were too scared and negative to have thought of saving them.

“We gave our promise that we won’t go back again. There will be no boats at Maya Bay again. All coral will be able to grow up in clear water. Then we will have paradise back.”

Maya Bay was initially only supposed to be closed to tourists for a four month period last year, but authorities said that too much damage had been done to reopen so soon.

Songtham Sukswang, director of the Office of National Parks, said at the time:

“Four months’ closure was not enough.

“We need at least a year or even up to two years or maybe more for the environment to recover – this includes the coral reefs, mangrove, and the beach.”

Some locals have disputed the closure of the beach as it has affected their ability to make money.

They have argued that there should have been a vote on the matter.