mass tourism thailand

Mass tourism

on a Thai Island



island inspect victim of its own success
fame spoil (2) take action
bay mass (2) authority (2)
banish at least destruction
calm sunrise magical (2)
shatter skipper wonderful
earn damage for a living
coral flow back mixed feels
moor live off of on the other hand
idyll direct (2) hangs in the air
victim spit out rake in (2)
wide take turn earn his living
diesel flow (2) hang/hung/hung (3)
air warden long gone
limit disperse I would die to
heron damage bring about
reef rubbish underwater
harm shocking recover/recovery
storm reduction conservation
rev mainland peak season
fee clear (2) speedboat
chaos extremely controversial
chance period (3) way forward (2)
spit (2) peak (2) preserve (2)
sunset respect all to himself
at last


Video: Mass Tourism on a Thai Beach



Presenter: “There. You have a look there now: It’s Phi Phi Leh Island.

Now the beach however, has become a victim of its own fame — mass tourism has spoiled Maya Bay.

Now Thai authorities have taken action to stop its destruction, by banishing visitors for at least four months.

.     .     .     .     .     .     .     .


Maya Bay can be a magical place.

But just after sunrise, the first speedboats shatter the calm.

Skipper Somit Munikong earns his living from tourists, and has mixed feelings about the closure, even if it is just for a few months.

Somit Munikong, Skipper: “Before the speed boats came, there were wonderful corals here. The boats have damaged them. On the other hand, a lot of us live off the visitors.”

Some twenty beach wardens direct the traffic here — otherwise it would be total chaos. Boats from the mainland spit out hundreds of tourists.

The beach is only two hundred (200) meters wide; the boats have to take turns to moor up. The smell of diesel hangs in the air. As many as five-thousand (5,000) people come here every day.

The idyll is long gone.

Visitor One: “We in India would die to have something like this around. And you have to preserve it; you have to have a limit to everything coming in and out. So you have to respect nature, for what is it and what it has given us.”

The damage is most shocking underwater: dying coral reefs and plastic rubbish, not just here in Maya Bay. Ecologists say seventy-seven percent (77%) of Thailand’s reefs have been harmed.

Can four months really bring about recovery?

Andrew Hewett, Phi Phi Island Conservation and Preservation Group: “You’re not going to see a change in four months — it takes years and years for coral populations to recover.

You have to understand that Maya Bay has a reduction in people anyway because that’s the direction where the storms come from. So they’re going to closing it where there isn’t a lot of people coming, generally.”

In the peak season, the park rakes in fifty-thousand euros (€50,000) per day in entrance fees. How much of that flows back to environmental protection is not clear.

The closure of the bay is extremely controversial. So too is the way forward.

Worapoj Lomlim, Hat Noppharat Thara Mu Ko Phi Phi National Park: “Four months is the period everyone could agree on. It’s a start.

It will give us a chance to inspect the bay and see what else we can do.”

The engines are revving again. The last tourists disperse just before sunset.

The reef heron has white sandy beach to himself at last — at least for the next four months.

*     *     *     *     *     *     *


1. “It’s Phi Phi Leh Island. Now the beach however, has become a victim of its own fame.” What does this mean?

2. Is Phi Phi island transformed during the day?

3. The tourists stay in hotels on the island. True or false? Are beach wardens present? Why are there beach wardens?

4. What is the situation or problem in Maya Bay?

5. What solution have authorities proposed and implemented? Is everyone in favor of the restrictions or limitations? Does everyone agree with it?

6. Tourism on Phi Phi Leh is very profitable. Is this right or wrong?

7. Are there beach parties at night?


A. My friends and I have visited Thailand (or other places in Southeast Asia). Yes or no? What did you or they see and do there?

B. I have visited places that were full of tourists. True or false? Describe it. Have you been to places (“best kept secrets”) with hardly any visitors?

C. What do you and others think of mass tourism? Is mass tourism good, bad, both, neither or in between?

D. Is there mass tourism in your city, region or country? Do the government, business and residents want more, less or the same amount of tourists?

E. What will happen in the future?

F. Is there a solution to mass tourism?

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