Maya Bay, a beach in Thailand that was featured in a Leonardo DiCaprio film, will remain closed indefinitely to help it recover from hordes of tourists
In June, Maya Bay was temporarily closed for four to five months in order to salvage the area's coral reefs.
The environment was reportedly damaged by pollution and thousands of travellers who visited the bay daily.
However, Thailand's Department of National Parks, Wildlife, and Plant Conservation announced yesterday, 2 October, that the closure will be extended because the damage is worse than they initially thought
"We have evaluated each month and found out that the ecological system was seriously destroyed from tourism of up to 5,000 people daily," said Songtam Suksawang, director of the National Parks office, reported The Guardian.
Songtam told Reuters that the four-month closure was not enough, adding that the environment probably needs a year or more for it to recover.
The bay has grown in popularity since 2000, when Leonardo DiCaprio's 'The Beach' was released
Maya Bay, where scenes from the film were shot at, has since become one of Thailand's most visited tourist spots, attracting millions of people annually.
As a result, pollution from boats, litter, and sunscreen has damaged more than 80% of the island's coral life, reported The Guardian.
According to the news site, a royal gazette published on 1 October by Thailand's Department of National Parks, Wildlife, and Plant Conservation stated that the tourism ban will only be removed once the ecosystem "fully recovers to a normal situation".
Meanwhile, Malaysia's Cabinet Minister Yeo Bee Yin aims to turn the country into a zero single-use plastic free nation: