Thailand banned smoking and littering at 24 beachside locations that are popular with tourists over environmental concerns on Thursday, the ministry of natural resources and environment said.
The Southeast Asian country has been a tourist magnet for decades, from its backpacker heyday in the early 1990s to its current popularity with tourists from mainland China. It expects to welcome a record 37.55 million tourists in 2018.
Environmental rights groups have urged successive governments to protect Thailand's palm-fringed beaches, which are frequently voted among the world's most beautiful, from unregulated development and littering, among other things.
A law that came into force on Thursday is aimed at tackling this problem, said Bannaruk Sermthong, a director at the Office of Marine and Coastal Resources Management.
‘Starting today, smoking and cigarette-butt littering are prohibited on beach areas,’ Bannaruk told Reuters.
‘Anyone who wants to smoke must do so in designated smoking areas, not on the beaches.’
The law protects 24 beaches in 15 provinces located along the Andaman coast and the Gulf of Thailand.
Anyone who violates the law will be taken to a criminal court and could face up to one year in jail, or a fine of up to 100,000 baht ($3,190), or both.
Thailand has 357 beaches nationwide.
LEAVE A COMMENT Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked*
Two killed in landslides, floods caused by storm Bailu in Philippines
Rescuers confirm three killed, 300 evacuated after Indonesian ferry fire
Duterte ‘to block early release of convict’
Australia urges ‘sovereignty’ as S China Sea tensions rise
Jakarta cuts Internet in Papua over unrest fears
Indonesia blocks internet in Papua over unrest fears
Tensions linger as HK protesters mark ‘triad’ attack
Indonesian minister visiting Papua as fresh protests erupt
Troop presence in campuses criticised