Sustainable tourism planned for Phi Phi

The fate of Thailand’s most beautiful marine environment came into a negative light last year from the entry fee collection scandal and a series of embarrassing news on environmental degradation. Coral reefs in the national park suffered from bleaching as seawater temperature rose to 34°C, forcing the DNP to close a few beaches permanently.

“We are trying to turn the hopeless island into a hopeful place,” says biologist Asst Prof Thon, adviser to the Ministry of Natural Resource Environment on marine resource management. “Phi Phi island is an extreme case of how unsustainable tourism has destroyed nature. We chose this place because if the Phi Phi model works, it means we can apply it to other marine national parks across the country”

On the surface, the Phi Phi Model appears like a simple quota measure to limit the number of visitors. But in fact it is much more than that. The core idea is about creating a regulation and management system that can help commercial tourism and natural conservation survive together in a more sustainable way.

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