Bangkok - overnight tourist stays on Thailand's popular Similan islands were banned starting Tuesday, as the government took another step toward tackling environmental problems caused by mass tourism.
The ban covers all overnight stays except for those operated by certain licensed deep-sea diving tour companies, according to a Royal Gazette published Monday.
Day trips will still be permitted.
The Similan islands, located 80 kilometres north-west of Phuket, are one of the best-known island groups in the Andaman Sea. The area's renowned corals and marine life have suffered in recent years as tourism to the islands increased.
The ban follows the closure in June of Maya Bay, popularized by the 2000 Hollywood movie "The Beach."