Maya Bay beach made famous by Leonardo DiCaprio’s film closed until 2021

One of the most popular beauty spots in Thailand will remain closed to tourists until 2021 to allow its ecology to recover. Maya Bay on Phi Phi Leh island – made famous by the 2000 thriller The Beach, starring Leonardo DiCaprio – was shut indefinitely last year because of severe damage caused by an increase in visitors.

It was initially closed on June 1, 2018 for four months, but experts later decided that was not long enough.

By the time of its new planned reopening date, the scenic locale in the Andaman Sea will have been inaccessible to the public for more than two-and-a-half years.

Thon Thamrongnawasawat, an adviser to the Thai department of parks, said: “The resolution of the department of parks is to extend the closure of Maya Bay for another two years to allow its ecology to fully recover.” Up to 6,000 people had been making the trip to experience the stunning vistas every day, getting there by boat from the nearby resorts of Phi Phi, Phuket and Krabi.

By the time of its new planned reopening date, the scenic locale in the Andaman Sea will have been inaccessible to the public for more than two-and-a-half years

Authorities decided to step in following reports that up to 80 percent of the coral in the bay had died.

Previously, Songtham Sukswang, the director of Thailand’s office of national parks, said “the coral, reefs, mangrove and the beach” all needed time to recover.

The initial decision came amid growing concern about how Thailand manages its ever-increasing number of visitors.

Tourism makes up about 12 percent of the national economy.

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