Minimal impact from Koh Tachai closure, say Thai operators


The closure will allow the island’s marine and island ecosystems to recover

THE Thai authorities have recently announced the closure of the Koh Tachai, part of the Similan National Park in Phang Nha province, to limit environmental damage brought about by tourism.

The reserve will be closed indefinitely even beyond mid-October, when national marine parks in Thailand typically reopen after the mandatory monsoon season closure. Yung Island, in the Phi Phi archipelago, is another island that will be closed until further notice.

Travel companies interviewed are unfazed by the announcement however, saying Koh Tachai is a peripheral tourist destination.

“Currently our company does not have much business to the island,” Pankaj Sawhney, country head – Thailand & Indo-China region for Red Apple Travel told TTG Asia e-Daily.

Likewise, Laurent Kuenzle, founder and CEO of Asian Trails, does not foresee Koh Tachai’s closure to impact operations. “There are many other islands that can be visited instead of Koh Tachai for divers, snorkellers and regular day-trip tourists,” he added.

Meanwhile, the Tourism Council of Thailand’s president Ittirit Kinglek is urging the government to tackle the problem of environmental degradation in the Andaman Sea by installing more mooring buoys to protect corals in the area.

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