October 3, 2018 8:59 am
Updated: October 3, 2018 9:30 am

Thailand’s Maya Bay — made famous by the movie ‘The Beach’ — closed indefinitely

ABOVE: Thai beach from Leonardo DiCaprio movie closes again due to over-tourism.

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A Thai beach made famous by the 2000 Leonardo DiCaprio movie The Beach will stay closed indefinitely to give its ecosystem time to recover, authorities said on Tuesday.

Maya Bay, on Phi Phi Leh island in the Andaman Sea, was closed for four months on June 1 in a bid to salvage the area’s coral reefs, which have been damaged by warmer temperatures and a flood of tourists.

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READ MORE: Famous Thai beach from Leonardo DiCaprio movie closes again due to over-tourism

Up to 6,000 visitors had gone to the beach every day, travelling by speedboat from the nearby resort islands of Phi Phi and Phuket and Krabi on the mainland.

“Four months’ closure was not enough,” Songtham Sukswang, the director of the Office of National Parks, told Reuters.

“We need at least a year or even up to two years or maybe more for the environment to recover — this includes the coral reefs, mangrove, and the beach,” Songtham said.

READ MORE: The rise of over-tourism — how your vacation could be harming popular travel spots

Tourism makes up about 12 per cent of Thailand’s economy, but there has been growing concern about the country’s ability to manage its rapidly growing number of visitors.

© 2018 Reuters

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