The authorities of Thailand have decided to close indefinitely the beach of Maya Bay, famous for the movie "The Beach" starring Leonardo Di Caprio, due to environmental damage caused by the excess of tourists, official sources confirmed today.
The popular beach with white sand and turquoise waters on the island Phi Phi Leh in the southwest of the country, was closed between June and September, but experts believe that it has not been enough for the recovery of corals and the coast.
The head of the Noppharat Thara-Mu Ko Phi Phi park, Woraphot Lomlim, told Efe today that the closure will last as long as necessary until the beach is recovered, located in an idyllic spot between karst hills with lush vegetation.
The order, effective from October 1, also includes the Loh Samah bay in the east of the island, on the opposite side of Maya.
Woraphot said that the small islet of Yung ("Mosquito"), north of the Phi Phi archipelago, has been closed to tourism for two years also due to environmental degradation.
In 2006, the producer 20th Century Fox and others responsible were condemned by the Thai Supreme Court to pay compensation for the damage caused to the beach of Maya during the filming of "The Beach" ("The Beach"), released six years earlier .
Ko Phi Phi, located between the province of Krabi and the island of Phuket, is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Thailand and the closure of Maya Bay has generated criticism among the tourism sector.
Last year, Thailand received 35.38 million tourists, 9 percent more than in 2016, which represents around 12 percent of the national GDP, and aims to receive 27 million in 2018.