When it reopens, there'll be a "limit" of 2,400 visitors per day.
It has been two decades since The Beach came out, and two decades since tourists began inundating the stunning Krabi beach where it was filmed, Maya Bay—with devastating consequences for its marine eco-system.
Now, the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation (DNP) has announced an extension on Maya Bay's closure until mid-2020, according to the Bangkok Post.
The beach has already been off-limits to tourists for over a year now. The DNP first closed Maya Bay in Feb 2018 for what was supposed to only be three months. Following promising but slow signs of recovery for the area's coral reefs and marine life, it announced in October 2018 that there would be no set date for re-opening.
In December 2018, it was widely reported that blacktip reef sharks had returned to the bay, which is just 250 meters long and used to receive upwards of 5,000 tourists per day.
According to the Bangkok Post, the extended closure will also be used to improve facilities on the island, including repairs to the tourist boat dock, toilets and a walking board, as well as to build a residence unit for park officials.
A new e-ticket system will also be put in place when the park reopens, limiting visitor numbers to 2,400 per day during peak season (but with no word on how long each one can stay).
Once a bucket-list destination thanks to its Hollywood history, the bay, defined by striking limestone cliffs and clear blue waters, became a center for Krabi tourism after its appearance in Danny Boyle’s film starring Leonard DiCaprio.
Image credit: Maksym Kozlenko via Wikimedia Commons