Mass tourism not the way forward if Thailand wants to stop environmental attacks

23 Sep 2020

A big problem awaits Thailand as preparations are underway to open up the nation to save the tourist industry: how to avoid mass tourism from a fresh wave of environmental attacks. 

Really, the tourism industry is the greatest income earner in the world. But the huge influx of visitors well exceeds the carrying ability of the region, which has taken a major toll on the natural environment. 

The global pandemic of Covid-19 has taken the tourism sector to a standstill, crushing industries and millions of workers. But the accelerated recovery of nature after the lockdown in only a few months often sheds light on how to reconcile short- and long-term gains for sustainable tourism as the nation is ready to move forward again. 

The response comes from a trickle of good news from the coastal seas that, despite the coronavirus gloom, has provided the nation much-needed morale. 

The water in front of Patong beach has turned turquoise and crystal clear in Phuket. Near the island of Ko Libong, a large group of 30 dugongs was spotted in Trang. On the island of Juhoi Cape, a special species of sea turtles has also reappeared. 

The threatened green turtles (tao tanu) have also made a return in Samui, laid over 200 eggs on the beach for the first time in six years. After hatching, the baby turtles returned safely to the sea amongst the great joy and pride of the residents. Also spotted in Krabi was a wide school of some 50 black-tipped reef sharks. 

In Phangnga, in the Mu Ko Similan Marine National Park, marine guards saw around 20 blacktip reef sharks along a famous beach. In the bay, a wide school of 100 bottlenose dolphins emerged again. Also returning to lay eggs on the beaches of Phangnga and Phuket were around four to five vulnerable leatherback turtles (tao mafuang). For 20 years, the number of eggs they laid was the largest. 

It's clear. There is a significant effect on the protection of coastal waters, aquatic ecosystems, and other natural resources from the number of visitors and tourism activities. 

The restoration of the aquatic environment is increasingly evident, as demonstrated by the return of biodiversity to tourism a few months after the nation closed its doors. 

It's evident. When provided the ability, nature will easily recover. Therefore, controlling the carrying potential of tourist sites is vital to reviving degraded habitats and retaining their sustainability as a reliable source of tourism income for the region. 

It is critical for Thailand not to let environmentally damaging mass tourism once again wreck the coastal seas. 

"This is because everything fits from the" Grey Economy. 

The 'Blue Economy' relates not only to the productive utilization and maintenance of ocean energy and coastal tourism to serve the national economy but also to the way of life of the local communities while protecting the protection of the waters, seas, and coasts. 

Efforts have been made to render the Blue Economy the center of a sustainable marine and coastal resource growth in Thailand. They haven't taken hold yet, sadly. That's got to adjust. 

After the decline in visitors and tourism sports since the Covid-19 pandemic, the rapid recovery in aquatic resources and biodiversity indicates that the Blue Economy is the way to go. In order to ensure that coastal services stay secure and sustainable for long-term usage, the
government must step up the Blue Economy and introduce effective steps. 

The coastal lines of Thailand are over 3,100 km long, spanning 23 provinces. The maritime region of the world is about 320,000 square kilometers, or around 60 percent of the land of the nation. The financial importance of the coastal waters is enormous. 

Sea resources have produced over 24 trillion baht for the national economy, according to a report by the Sub-Committee on Information Management for National Marine Interests. The monetary value is extracted from coastal tourism , fishing, aquaculture, development of
offshore oil and gas, and commercial maritime trade. 

A Thailand Development Research (TDRI) analysis also indicates that it is feasible to achieve the Blue Economy by different steps to ensure that coastal tourism does not surpass carrying capacity. 

Via strict zoning, for example, by limiting the number of visitors and controlling beachfront operations, whether for lodging, food purchases or coastal fishing. Under the carrying ability, the number of hotels and other lodging must be limited. In order to allow nature to regenerate, the annual closure of national marine parks is therefore important. All this is to allow the coastal waters, while preserving the conservation of marine resources, to produce income for the national economy. 

Necessity breeds ingenuity. In the time of Covid-19, too, that is real. Locked up by community locks, digital technology has to be harvested more intensively by citizens, contributing to the quality and greater competitiveness in certain regions. 

For example, working at home has decreased the demand for commuting, lowering both financial and environmental costs. Investment and purchase costs are minimized by internet purchasing, helping both company owners and customers. Online banking and e-commerce have
also lowered the expense of retail and labor. The finite resources are then saved to serve the other needs of the world. 

The global downturn from the pandemic gives the world several useful lessons, amid significant financial losses. We're not allowed to let them go to waste. They can also be used to establish a modern standard that prioritizes the fair usage of natural resources. The warning from the sea turtles, dolphins, and coral sharks in the Andaman Sea should be heeded as the nation reconsiders opening its borders to tourists. 

Value the Parameters of Existence. Climate protect. Don't kill the goose in which mass tourism lays golden eggs. If not, aquatic resource failure is close. We are unable to blame the pandemic for that. Just for our short-sightedness. Even covetousness.