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The closure aims to ease negative effects on natural resources and the environment as a result of heavy tourism activities in the Similan National Park, a natural conservation area, said Tunya Netithammakul, director genberal of the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plants Conservation.
The measure is part of the masterplan for marine resource management in the Andaman Sea, he added.
All marine national parks are closed from today (May 16) to Oct 15 during the monsoon. But after Oct 15, Koh Tachai of the Similan Islands National Park will remain closed indefinitely, he said.
However, two deep dive sites in the Similan Islands remain open to divers and tourists.
“Thanks to its beauty, Koh Tachai has become a popular tourist site for both Thai and foreign tourists. This has resulted in overcrowding and the degradation of natural resources and the environment.
“We have to close it to allow the rehabilitation of the environment both on the island and in the sea without being disturbed by tourism activities before the damage is beyond repair,” said Mr Tunya.
He said since the closure of Koh Tachai was declared more than three months in advance, tourists should watch out for some tour companies which might try to sell trips to the island after Oct 15.