Photo: The Beach/Getty Images

Thailand bay made famous by Leo DiCaprio's "The Beach" closed to tourists


A Thailand paradise made famous by the Leonardo DiCaprio movie The Beach has been has been exhausted by tourism and not it is getting a break.

Now the huge influx of daily boats and thousands of visitors to Maya Bay will end. The attraction is being closed for four months to give its coral reefs and sea life a chance to recover. Authorities now say they are striving to balance profit and conservation and the closure will happen every year.

It's part of a rethink happening globally about unrestricted tourism that brings in big dollars but damages historic sites, harms the environment and often alienates locals.

Maya Bay. Getty Images

Many of Thailand's marine national parks are closed from mid-May to mid-October during the monsoon season but because of Maya Bay's popularity, it hasn't had a break since the Hollywood movie was made in 1999. Its corals have suffered due to the suffocating clouds of sand and sediment churned up by speedboats.

The government has set a limit of 2000 tourists a day when the bay reopens - about half the current number. Boats will no longer be allowed to anchor but must dock on the opposite side of the island.