The Department of National Parks, Wildlife, and Plant Conservation today, July 28th, has revoked its order to close Koh Samet for two months for rehabilitation, following the local entrepreneurs’ outcry as they have already tremendously lost a lot of income from the Covid-19 pandemics.
Thawat Jenkarn, Head of the Khao Laem Ya-Mu Ko Samet National Park, revealed yesterday, July 27th, that the Department of National Parks had issued an order to close Khao Laem Ya-Mu Ko Samet National Park, including Koh Samet, Khao Laem Ya, and Mae Ramphueng Beach, for two months from August 1st to September 30th for rehabilitation as well as other national parks across the country.
This prompted the local entrepreneurs in Rayong to prepare to send an opposition letter to the national park authorities to review the cancellation of its order, begging for sympathy as everyone had already lost a lot of income to sustain their business during the Covid-19 epidemic.
Sarinthip Thapmongkolsub, President of the Koh Samet Tourism Association, stated that business operators had universally opposed the decision as it would affect their business and the nature of Koh Samet has already been restored after the island closure due to the pandemic. Additionally, according to Sarinthip, the loss of foreign and domestic tourists for much of the last year and a half had essentially restored the island’s environment and natural beauty and they were struggling for any business as it was.
She told reporters: “Koh Samet has more than 900 villagers and they didn’t know what to do or how they could earn income if the island would be closed for 2 months. We had no idea if we would receive any financial remedies when the island was closed because entrepreneurs have to continue to support all of their employees.”
As of today, the Department had just canceled its order on Khao Laem Ya-Mu Ko Samet National Park. Koh Samet and Mae Ramphueng Beach would continue to welcome vaccinated tourists while Khao Laem Ya, Koh Kudee, and Koh Talu would be closed following the previous order as there were no villagers living on the islands.
Photo Courtesy: Manager Online