Pattaya will study limiting the number of tourists to Koh Larn to help conserve the environment of the island resort currently reeling from garbage and pollution problems.
Pattaya Business & Tourism Association President Sinchai Wattanasartsathorn said the Ministry of Tourism and Sports has budgeted 4 million baht for 2017 to hire a consultant to study the relationship between the number of tourists and the impact on the environment in order to determine the ideal number of daily visitors.
The island now attracts nearly 20,000 tourists a day, stressing the island’s infrastructure, particularly its waste-management system, to the breaking point. The island has a garbage surplus of 30,000 tons in a temporary dump with more flowing in every day.
Sinchai said many island businesses may oppose the idea of a visitor limit as they would lose business. But such a short-term view is short-sighted, he said: If something is not done to reverse Koh Larn’s ecological decay, the island eventually will be ruined and no tourists will go there.