THE PAVILIONS PHUKET BRITISH INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL, PHUKET
THE PAVILIONS PHUKET BRITISH INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL, PHUKET Kata Rocks
The Phuket News Novosti Phuket Khao Phuket

All Clear: Maya Bay ‘zero tolerance’ protection kicks into force with immediate effects

All Clear: Maya Bay ‘zero tolerance’ protection kicks into force with immediate effects

PHUKET: The “zero tolerance” environmental protection measures for world-renowned Maya Bay, with no access for any persons other than national park officers until Oct 1, came into force last Friday (June 1).

tourismenvironmentmarinenatural-resourcespollution
By Tanyaluk Sakoot

Saturday 9 June 2018, 09:00AM


It is strictly no visitors allowed into the bay or even onto the beach during the next four months, Hat Nopparat-Mu Ko Phi Phi National Park Chief Worapoj Lomlim re-confirmed to The Phuket News on Wednesday (June 6).

Visitors are not even allowed to land at Loh Samah Bay on the far side of the island and walk along a jungle path to view Maya Bay from a distance of some 400 metres, Mr Worapoj explained.

That option will become available after Oct 1, he added, when park officers will aim to limit the number of visitors to Maya Bay to 2,000 persons a day.

However, whether or not boats will be allowed to start entering Maya Bay after Oct 1 remains to be seen. “We are still considering our options on that,’ Mr Worapoj said on Wednesday.

The four-month reprieve is to allow the marine ecosystem in the bay to recover following increasingly heavy damage to coral reefs by hordes of tourists over the past few years.

Mr Worapoj said that coral-restoration efforts in the treasured bay were “already underway”, but provided no details on exactly what was being carried out.

Steps to protect corals in nearby Loh Samah Bay are also being taken, with a floating pier to be built to allow tourists to disembark without their tour boats dropping anchor in that bay. The pier is still in the design phase, but will be complete by Oct 1, Mr Worapoj assured.

“Right now this floating dock in Loh Samah Bay is in the process of design and construction by a private company,” Mr Worapoj told The Phuket News in an interview last week, while declining to name the company hired to complete the job.

“I can’t give specific details of the dock to the public right now, but I can confirm that the floating dock will be built from strong and environmental materials. It will be strong enough to be stable during storms and strong waves and it will definitely not cause any harm to reefs,” he said.

“It will take time to build this in the (southwest) monsoon season. It will be finished as quickly as possible,” he added.

QSI International School Phuket

As for coral-protection measures after Oct 1, Mr Worapoj explained that several areas in the bay had already been roped off with floating buoys and they may well remain in place after the bay is re-opened to tourism.

“We are still thinking about what we can do about that,” Mr Worapoj said.

Meanwhile, Nonthasak Marine, one of Phuket’s busiest speedboat day tour providers, reported that the bay closure had not affected tour sales.

“It has not affected us,” said Sittichai Buaban, Nonthasak Marine’s Sales & Marketing Manager.

“We are still selling the same number of tours, but instead of taking tourists to Maya Bay, we take them to Phi Phi Don and other popular sites,” he said.

“We actually still take them to the front of Maya Bay where floating buoys have been installed to prevent boats from entering the bay and our tour guides explain to them – and show them – this is as close as you can get for now,” he added.

Regarding the e-ticketing system to be launched to administer the 2,000-person-per-day limit after Oct 1, Park Chief Worapoj confirmed that his officers were still working on developing the system.

“Right now there is no e-ticket system for anyone to use. Anyone who wants to visit the area can just do it the old way and buy a ticket with a tour company,” Mr Worapoj said last week.

“We don’t have an online system for registered tour operators and boat owners. We haven’t got that far yet. Also, I can’t confirm ticket prices or where or how tickets will be available. We need to hold more meetings so we can come to some conclusion about it later,” he added.

“Please understand that I very much want to save the environment at Maya Bay and enforce a limit of 2,000 visitors a day there, but making this work is not easy to deal with. We want private businesses and tour companies to help us push this project together,” Mr Worapoj concluded.

Comment on this story

* Please login to comment. If you do not have an account please register below by simply entering a username, password and email address. You can still leave your comment below at the same time.

CAPTCHA

BigA | 09 June 2018 - 11:51:13

BRAVO!

BenPendejo | 09 June 2018 - 10:09:53

Come on Mr Worapoj, it really isn't that difficult to manage. Establish a single point of entry staffed by (honest) Nat'l Park officials.  Tickets may only be purchased through the Nat'l Park system. What is equally troubling is the Northasak's statement that they are still selling the same number of tours. Over-selling has just moved from Maya Bay to other unmanaged areas. The tra...

Have a news tip-off? Click here

 

Phuket community
Police begin hunt for foreign man over attacking dog

freaking out people running around angry with long knife or any other weapon should not be accepted....(Read More)


Police begin hunt for foreign man over attacking dog

I would like to volunteer,-giving this deranged POS exactly the same treatment !...(Read More)


Running Empty: Water officials to splash B277mn on private sources as reservoirs fail to fill

A lot of water contract talks ( including 30% arrangements?). However, that will not grand Phuket wa...(Read More)


Running Empty: Water officials to splash B277mn on private sources as reservoirs fail to fill

Bang Wad water reservoir is ready for making it a beginners drive for golf players. The grass just n...(Read More)


PHUKET XTRA: VIDEO: Second Phuket water crisis? ’Peace walk’ monk returns! Dangerously sweet! || July 12

No, not a second water crisis. Phuket still remains in it's 'first' water crisis, as not...(Read More)


Surin Beach’s temporary lifeguards on hold until further notice

This article shows plainly that as long Cherng Talay Tambon Administration not gets a good Chief/May...(Read More)


After Phuket student killed by electrocution, officials assure public park areas are safe

The PEA always insist that the neutral wire be earthed at the breaker, that way any leakage will tri...(Read More)


Student killed by electrocution in Phuket public park under investigation

Always willing to do stuff after the incident, maintenance, doing stuff to prevent problems! Go roun...(Read More)


Student killed by electrocution in Phuket public park under investigation

As an electrician you only have to look at the state of power poles with bare wires, electric boxes ...(Read More)


Surin Beach’s temporary lifeguards on hold until further notice

Wow...shocking level of irresponsibility by the OrBorTor. How can this even happen? Actually, irre...(Read More)