Residents and park officials on the island of Koh Kradan are bracing for an onslaught of new visitors following some recent world media publicity. Think Maya Bay after the movie ‘The Beach’ came out in 2000.
Park officials are pledging to continue protecting the local ecosystem after the island recently took the top spot in the World Beach Guide’s “Top 100 beaches on Earth 2023”. Koh Kradan hit the spotlight in Thailand and internationally after being named best beach on earth by the World Beach Guide website.
The 2.5-square-kilometre Andaman Sea island is around 10 kilometres off the coast of the southern province of Trang. It is part of the Hat Chao Mai National Park and park chief Prit Narasrit says residents, local businesses, and officials are redoubling efforts to protect its delicate ecosystem.
Despite having one of the most beautiful beaches in the world, Prit insists the island will continue to close for 4 months, from June 1 to September 30 every year. He says top priority will be given to efforts to preserve the island’s coral reefs and marine life.
“Regardless of the award given, everyone is doing their best to protect the island. Hat Chao Mai National Park will now focus more on regulations to maintain the beauty of our environment.”
Prit goes on to say that while visitors are welcome, they must play their part, by not littering or harming marine life. The waters around Kradan are home to endangered species of fish and he says tourists need to be made aware of this. He adds that visitors can also rest assured that measures are in place to keep them safe, including safe transportation to and from the island.
Prit acknowledges that with the island hitting the headlines for having the world’s best beach, more tourism is inevitable. As a result, officials plan to invest more in Koh Kradan’s infrastructure, including water and electricity, while ensuring laws to protect it are enforced. Finally, Prit urges tourists to put down their phones and cameras while on the island and take time to enjoy and protect their surroundings.
SOURCE: Nation Thailand