Instead, a floating pier will be installed so that tourists can disembark tour boats and arrive on the island without causing further harm to the popular island, Thanya Nethithammakul, chief of the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation, announced yesterday (May 11).
The move comes just weeks before Maya Bay, as part of the Hat Nopparat- Mu Ko Phi Phi National Park, closes for four months from June 1 through Sept 30 to allow the local ecosystem a chance to recover from the heavy tourism traffic it has endured for years. (See story here.)
At last report, the bay was receiving up to 4,000 visitors a day, Mr Thanya noted yesterday.
“No tourism activities will be permitted in Maya Bay during this period,” Mr Thanya also confirmed. (See NNT report here.)
However, a limit of 2,000 tourists per day will be allowed to visit beach at Maya Bay by arriving at Loh Samah Bay located on the south side of Phi Phi Lei Island. From there, tourists will be able to walk the 250 metres across the small isle to see Maya Bay first hand.
Songtham Suksawang, Director of the DNP’s National Parks Office, said engineers had been tasked with drawing up plans and installing the floating pier to ensure it is safe for tourists to use and prevents any further environmental damage to that side of the island.
“We will also launch a coral propogation project to help corals in the area return to their former natural state,” Mr Songtham said.