|Thailand to close famous beach to protect coral
Thailand will close one of its famous beaches to try and reverse the damage done to its coral by tourism. The beach is on the island of Koh Phi Phi Leh. It got worldwide attention after it featured in the blockbuster movie The Beach. The film put the beach on the bucket lists of millions of travellers. The result has been up to 5,000 sun worshippers a day to its shores. They arrive on hundreds of boats, which have caused irreversible damage to the bay's coral. Officials say that most of the coral has died. The beach will close between June and September to let the coral recover.
Experts predict that 80 per cent of Thailand's coral reefs have been destroyed. Once untouched beaches have been damaged by tourism. A professor at Bangkok's Kasetsart University has criticized the tourism that is damaging Thailand's coastline. He said the biggest problems were beachfront hotels, boat anchors breaking the coral, and plastic waste dumped in the sea. He believes the "ideal solution" is to close Maya Bay permanently. He said: "While it's a very pretty bay, visiting it with a flotilla of boats and hordes of other tourists rather detract from the magic."