The news comes as marine experts confirm that corals transplanted into the bay are showing positive signs of growth, with high hopes of a full recovery of the reefs in the bay which have suffered heavy damage from years of ‘overtourism’ and tourists trampling on the corals. (See story here.)
The world-famous bay was closed to all visitors from June 1 to allow coral reefs and the local marine ecoystem to recover, and on May 11 this year it was announced that boats taking tourists to visit Phi Phi Island’s renowned Maya Bay would no longer to be able to land or drop anchor at Loh Samah Bay, on the far side of the island.
Instead, a floating pier would be installed so that tourists can disembark tour boats and arrive on the island without causing further harm to the popular island, announced Thanya Nethithammakul, chief of the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation (DNP).
At the time a re-opening date of Oct 1 had been set, but last week Chief Worapoj confirmed to The Phuket News that even that was under review.
“We are considering asking to defer the re-opening of Maya Bay to visitors for another month,” Chief Worapoj said.
Today, he confirmed that Nov 1 had been set as the date for re-opening the bay to tourists.
Chief Worapoj made it clear to The Phuket News today, “The bay itself will remain closed to boats, but tourists will be allowed to visit the bay from Loh Samah Bay.”
However, Chief Worapoj did not elaborate on how tour boats will be allowed to bring tourists to shore, as currently they are not allowed to drop anchor or make landfall at Loh Samah Bay.
Also not mentioned was any restriction on the number of tourists that will be allowed to visit Loh Samah Bay or Maya Bay, though at last report the number was expected to be 2,000 visitors per day. (See story here.)