After being shuttered for a year already, Thai authorities announced that the Maya Bay beach will remain closed for two more years in order to safeguard the island's nature and allow its resources to regenerate.
Director of Thailand's National Parks Department (NPD), Songtam Suksawang, told CNN that the island will not be open again to tourists until at least June 2021.
"We will review again then if it is ready to open to tourists. We need more time to allow nature to fully recover. Our team will reassess the situation every three months,” Suksawang explained.
The Thai official said that more time is needed also to expand the island's visitor facilities by installing a new floating dock, an eco-focused boardwalk, an electronic ticketing system and new washrooms.
"This will make it more convenient for tourists and at the same time help us maintain the conditions of ecosystem," he stated.
"Our aim is to achieve sustainable tourism. We want to pass on this natural heritage to our next generations,” Suksawang pointed out.
The bay became popular after appearing in the 2000 film "The Beach” starring Leonardo DiCaprio.