10 diving spots closed to face coral bleaching affecting 80% of reefs
The National Parks Department of Thailand announced the closure indefinitely of 10 diving spots following a survey that revealed coral bleaching on up to 80% of some reefs.Warming waters and the ever increasing number of visitors have damaged coral reefs and local ecosystems. Before closing, these islands, Koh Tachai located in the Andaman Sea and 3 koh Khai others islands off Phuket, were used to welcome no fewer than 60 boats could every day for tourists water activities!
Reduce tourism benefits in favor of the environment
“Coral reefs are affected by unconscious tourists – when they go diving, they can touch or walk on the reef. The closure of these sites will help reefs to recover” the national parks department director, Reungsak Theekasuk, declared to AFP. Malaysia has already successfuly conducted the same kind of action en 2005 by relocating tourist operators of Sipadan which access is limited to a certain number of divers. Tourism accounts for about 10% of the economy of Thailand which hosted 29.8 million tourists in 2015 and hopes to attracted 32 million in 2016.