With the effect of lockdown, the popular beaches of Thailand which usually used to have hordes of tourists have seen the return of popular sea creatures like Whales, Turtles etc. And thus, the country is planning to close the parks for several months to help the environment to recover from the damage that has happened due to tourists visiting the country.
The closure of parks due to pandemic has allowed the natural habitat to recover from the hordes of tourist crowds and bought a return of wildlife such as whales and turtles said Natural Resources & Environment Minister Varawut Silpa-archa. And now the authorities are planning to close the parks annually for 2-4 months starting next year which will help the conservation of the parks.
“This is so that nature can rehabilitate itself and the park rangers can improve the parks,” – said the minister in an interview at Bangkok.
Thailand has over 100 national parks which are present in North and in the south such as in the islands of Phi Phi, Phang Nga Bay and in the year 2019 over 20 million people visited the parks which contributed over $70 million in park fees.
Tourism is a major contributor to the GDP of Thailand and with the pandemic, over 1/5th of GDP has been disrupted by lockdown enforced due to pandemic. With the lockdown, the government is estimating that over 7 million people might visit the tropical location of Thailand which witnessed over 40 million visitors last year.
Minister Varawut Silpa-archa said that the closure of parks will affect the country’s GDP even more, Maya Bay in Phi Phi Islands made famous in a Hollywood movie ‘The Beach’ starring Leonardo DiCaprio will be closed until some of the areas which are destroyed by tourists will be recovered and it is noted that the bay’s coral reef will take as much as 40 years to return.