Fri, Aug 30, 2013 - Page 9 News List

Oil spills threaten the environment and tourism in Thailand

Environmental groups are accusing Thai politicians of protecting the tourism industry by not fully disclosing the damage done by an oil spill last month

By Thomas Fuller  /  NY Times News Service, KO SAMET, Thailand

Ko Samet, which is about 30km from the refineries, is technically part of a national park, although nearly every beach is blanketed with hotels and guesthouses, and back alleys are strewn with trash. Yet considering its proximity to industry, the waters here are remarkably clear.

To Wang, the tourist from China, where waterways are often blacked by pollution, the island appeared pristine. After emerging from a swim, she scanned the beach.

“It’s very beautiful here,” she said.

Additional reporting by Poypiti Amatatham

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