THIS pretty stretch of sand in Thailand’s Phi Phi islands has been a bucket-list staple ever since it starred in Danny Boyle’s 2000 film The Beach, featuring Leonard DiCaprio.
But paradise-like Maya Bay has become the victim of its own popularity.
© 1993 Ben Davies Paradise-like Maya Bay has become the victim of its own popularity
Damage due to overtourism has forced Thai authorities to close Maya Bay to the public for three months, to allow the suffering coral reef to recover.
Around 5,000 tourists a day visit Maya Bay on boats from the tourism hubs of Phuket and Krabi, contributing to “critical” damage of the precious coral.
And Maya Bay isn’t the only tourist spot in Thailand that’s been forced to close due to environmental damage caused by tourism.
It follows the temporary closure of the popular Koh Khai islands and Koh Tachai, which had been considered the most beautiful island in the country.
Getty – Contributor Around 5,000 tourists a day visit Maya Bay on boats from the tourism hubs of Phuket and Krabi
77 per cent of coral reefs in Thailand’s waters have been devastated by destruction linked to tourism, according to marine expert Thon Thamrongnawasawat from Bangkok’s Kasetsart University.
That figure is up 30 per cent from a decade ago.
Dr Thamrongnawasawat said much of the coral damage has been caused by beachfront hotels, plastic rubbish that had been dumped at sea and boat anchors.
He also warned that temporary closures, such as the three-month shutdown of Maya Bay, could only do so much to repair the damage.
He added: “An ideal solution is a permanent closure, which is not possible due to our reliance on tourism revenue.”
20th Century Fox The pretty stretch of sand in Thailand’s Phi Phi islands has been a bucket-list staple ever since it starred in Danny Boyle’s 2000 film The Beach, featuring Leonard DiCaprio
In May 2016, Thai authorities announced an indefinite shutdown of the hugely popular Koh Tachai, an island off the country’s southern coast.
Tunya Netithammakul, director general of the department of national parks, wildlife and plants conservation explained Koh Tachai needed a chance to recover from damage caused by tourism.
He told the Bangkok Post: “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.”
Getty – Contributor Damage due to overtourism has forced Thai authorities to close Maya Bay to the public for three months
Weeks later, another three Thai islands were made off limits to tourists: the idyllic Koh Khai islands — Koh Khai Nok, Koh Khai Nui and Koh Khai Nai — off the coast of Phuket.
Around 4,000 tourists a day visited the islands before the closure, and speed boating and snorkelling were among the biggest attractions for tourists.
The Department of Marine and Coastal Resources regional chief Watcharin Na Thalang said at the time: “Tour groups spend at least three hours swimming, feeding fish and snorkelling in the water, which severely damages the marine ecosystem, especially on coral reefs.”
Getty – Contributor Tour groups spend at least three hours swimming, feeding fish and snorkelling in the water, which severely damages the marine ecosystem, especially on coral reefs
He said speedboats in particular — as many as 60 a day — were putting a strain on the marine environment.
Earlier this month, Sun Online Travel also reported that Thailand had banned smoking and littering at 24 beaches that tourists often visit.
New Qatar Airways Plane Designed To Reduce Jet Lag Launches In The Uk This Weekend
AS a rule, Economy cabins tend to get less comfy on planes while First and Business Class increase the luxury.
But Qatar Airways is bucking the trend this year – by improving life for Economy passengers as well as the VIPs.
Big changes to the A350-1000 aircraft could make a massive difference to what it feels like to take a long-haul flight
The airline has added Airbus’s first A350-1000 aircraft to its fleet – with the first flights from London to Doha taking off this Saturday.
Some big changes to the plane could make a massive difference to what it feels like to take a long-haul flight.
While First and Business Class have had a huge upgrade, Economy has had a hi-tech overhaul too.
Inside the cabin there will be 16-million-LED ambient lighting that minimises the effects of jetlag by allowing passengers to feel awake and sleepy at the correct times.
Airbus The airline has added Airbus’s first A350-1000 aircraft to its fleet
According to Forbes, the new plane will have better cabin pressure and humidity, so travellers suffer less from dehydration during a flight.
There will also be improved cabin temperature zones – allowing smaller area of the planes to be regulated individually.
Cabin temperature zones have traditionally been hard to regulate from when end of the plane to the other – which is why the front can appear freezing cold while the back is comfortably warm.
It’s good news for those who always get sick after a plane journey too – the new A350-1000 aircraft will have hospital grade air filters to clear out the germs in the air.
Airbus In the Business Class cabins, customers in adjoining seats can create their own double bed
The planes will also have the largest overhead bins of any aircraft for maximum storage.
While this is less important for passengers taking long-haul flights – who are unlikely to be flying with just hand luggage, it will make the boarding process much smoother.
Obviously the best changes of all have been reserved for those who turn left when they board a plane though.
Video reveals what you get as Qatar Airways becomes first airline to o
Airbus Up to four passengers travelling together are also able to transform their seats to form a private area
The world’s first double beds in business class will take the passenger experience “to a new level” on flights from London to Doha, an airline has claimed.
In the cabins, customers in adjoining seats can create their own double bed by removing privacy panels.
The “Qsuites” are available to Business Class passengers on the daily Boeing 777 service from London Heathrow to Doha from this weekend.
This Couple Have A Genius Solution To Swerve The Two-bag Cabin Luggage Rules – And They Haven’t Been Caught Yet
NO MATTER what incredible bargain you scored on your flight prices, the tricky issue of luggage often gets travellers unstuck — and paying through the nose.
Most airlines allow passengers to bring only one carry-on bag and one personal item on board, meaning anything else has to be checked in, and often at high expense.
Wool and Oak A couple reckon they’ve designed the perfect hand luggage solution: two bags of luggage that masquerade as one
And of course, many airlines are strict on the size and type of the bag you try to pass off as carry-on. So you’re pretty much left with two undesirable options: pack less stuff, or pay to check the rest in.
A couple reckon they’ve designed the perfect solution: two bags of luggage that masquerade as one.
Johnathan Webster and Gizem Mut-Webster are the husband-and-wife team behind Wool & Oak, a company that is becoming famous for its newest launch: a clever two-part duffel bag designed to get around airlines’ strict bag policies.
Wool and Oak The bag looks like a single backpack, which you can carry around like any other
The bag looks like a single backpack, which you can carry around like any other.
But once you’re on the plane, the bag unzips to create two separate parts: a slimmer backpack and a larger bag. There are a couple of Wool & Oak bags the backpack can be zipped onto, turning them into one.
And with that, boom — you’ve just skipped around the airline’s strict one carry-on policy, and snuck two bags on.
Well, they were technically one bag when you boarded.
Wool and Oak But once you’re on the plane, the bag unzips to create two separate parts
Johnathan Webster told Business Insider: “I haven’t been caught yet.”
He said he’s managed to store as much as two weeks’ worth of luggage in the two-in-one duffel bag, and reckons it’s saved him hundreds of dollars in check-in fees.
The couple’s company Wool & Oak, which launched through Kickstarter, makes a whole range of stylish travel bags.
Swedish Airport Hostel In Stockholm Allows Travellers To Sleep Inside An Old Jumbo Jet
PASSENGERS at this airport hotel in Stockholm can get some kip on a plane before they’ve even checked in.
The Jumbo Stay Hostel is built into an old Boeing 747-212B plane – right next to Stockholm Arlanda Airport.
Rex Features The Jumbo Stay Hostel is built into an old Boeing 747-212B plane
Zuma The cockpit suite is by far the most exciting of the rooms, with a bed right in front of the old control dashboard
Rex Features There are also quirky round “engine rooms”, which have been built into the space where the jet engines were
They have three different types of rooms to accommodate one to three adults, as well as a four-bed dormitory option.
All together, the hostel offers 76 beds – with the most luxurious found in the cockpit – providing views of the landing strip.
All rooms have access to private and shared showers and toilets in the corridor, apart from the Cockpit suite, the Black Box suite and one single room which boast their own shower and WC.
The cockpit suite is by far the most exciting of the rooms, with a bed right in front of the old control dashboard.
Booking.com There is a cafe inside the plane that serves breakfast, coffee, cookies, ice cream, sandwiches and hot meals
Alamy There is also a conference room that can sit up to 20 people
There are also quirky round “engine rooms”, which have been built into the space where the jet engines were under the wings – that come with their own outside entrance, and a black box suite that is built into the back of the plane.
Prices range from 450 Swedish Krona (£40) for a bed in a four-bed dorm to 1895 Swedish Krona (£168) for the Black Box suite.
There is also a cafe inside the plane that serves breakfast, coffee, cookies, ice cream, sandwiches and hot meals.
Visitors can also head out onto an observation desk on top of one of the plane’s wings.
Rex Features The plane was originally built for Singapore Airlines and later served with the legendary Pan Am
Booking.com Visitors can also head out onto an observation desk on top of one of the plane’s wings
Jumbo Stay is only five minutes away from the check-in counters at Arlanda – and guests can take a free shuttle bus.
Hostel owner Oscar Diös said: “I was getting ready to expand my hostel business in 2006 when I heard about an old wreck of an aircraft for sale at Arlanda.
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