Thai officials have banned holidaymakers from visiting parts of three popular islands, as they review the impact tourism is having on the local ecology.
The waters off Koh Khai Nok, Koh Khai Nui and Koh Khai Nai are renowned for their colourful coral displays and are popular with day-trippers from nearby Phuket, but the Department of Marine and Coastal Resources (DMCR) claims that up to 80 per cent of reefs there have been degraded and has decided to ban tourists from visiting them.
“A tremendous amount of corals have been damaged and getting them to recover is very difficult,” DMCR regional chief, Watcharin Na, told the Bangkok Post. 
Coral reefs around the world have suffered from a mass coral bleaching event this year, caused by a combination of El Nino – a naturally occurring weather pattern – and rising temperatures due to global warming.
However, tourism activity is heaping even more pressure on these …