Popular tourist beach in Thailand issues bans for visitors this summer

Popular tourist beach in Thailand issues bans for visitors this summer

Tourist beaches in Thailand have seen a number of travellers visit the islands, with estimated figures of 37.5 million tourists in 2018, according to The Ministry of Tourism and Sports.

The increase in numbers, up from 35.3 million in 2017, has caused a large amount of damage to the islands as tourism increases.

In a bid to protect them, the Government of Thailand is issuing a number of bans to three of the most popular islands in the south of the country.

Koh Samui, Koh Tao and Koh Phangan, which is where the famous full moon parties are held and see over one million tourists, will be affected by the bans.

These bans will include; fishing, fish feeding, anchoring on coral reefs, any construction work on the beaches and walking on the seabeds.

According to Jatuporn Burutphat, director of the Department of Marine and Coastal Resources: “The amount of garbage and waste water on these islands is so big that it will become unbearable in the near future, and we have to think about the future."

Anyone breaking the new bans could face a fine of 100,000 baht (£2,287) and up to a year in jail.

The new laws will be brought into place in July, one of the busiest seasons for travellers visiting the islands.

It will certainly affect the boat tours that are on offer between the islands which regularly interact with the sea life.

Thailand’s tourist industry accounts for 20 per cent of the couture’s gross domestic product.

Another ban that was recently bought in was smoking, with 24 beaches being included after the number of cigarette butts found were deemed to be causing further damage.

The smoking ban will come into place from November 1 after over 138,000 butts were found on one beach in September.

Buruspat stated: “Cigarette butts accounted for 30 per cent of the waste found.

“This does not mean people cannot smoke at all. There will be designated areas for smoking on each beach away from the sea,”

The famous Maya Bay on the island of Koh Phi Phi will also close this summer for three months to protect it.

It featured in the 2000 Leonardo DiCaprio film The Beach.

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