Thailand and the fallout from mass tourism | DW Documentary

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Thailand and the fallout from mass tourism | DW Documentary 4.5
Plastic garbage and the death of the coral reefs show the downside of mass tourism in Thailand, which hosted 36 million visitors in 2018. The documentary looks at the effects on tourist resorts above and below water.

Ten years ago there were 20 million fewer tourists. Today’s mass tourism has both social and ecological consequences. Most of the Thailand’s popular tourist resorts discharge untreated sewage into the sea, and plastic waste ends up in the water. This is killing off the fragile coral reefs along the coast. The countless hotels and restaurants mainly serve fresh fish, so fishing boats are using giant trawl nets, which are also destroying the coral. The internationally renowned marine ecologist Thon Thamrongnawasawa from the University of Bangkok says 77 percent of Thailand's coral reefs have been severely damaged. Meanwhile, the locals in popular tourist resorts hardly benefit from the huge numbers of holidaymakers at all. They work for the minimum wage and are often pushed out by guest workers from neighboring Myanmar, who are willing to work for even less money. Small local restaurants lose out when the big tour operators take their guests on all-inclusive excursions. The filmmakers first visited Thailand a few years ago, shooting enchanting footage of the still intact underwater world in many places. Now they are back there again to look at the consequences of unrestricted tourism - both above and below the waterline.


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💬 Comments on the video

Should be called Thailand and the fallout from a greedy government.

Author — Canaan Banana


having been to thailand the rubbish seems to be more from locals than the tourists same with bali

Author — debeeriz


34:31...TOURISTS? Dumping wood planks and broken tv's???? I don't think so.

Author — Lea Inokuchi


This severe plastic issue is NOT only in Thailand, but also the world issue.

Author — Poramin Taiyaraj


It's not just the tourists, locals are not exactly eco-friendly as well. I am not condoning the mass tourism but I think this documentary is quite naive and lopsided.

Author — ShadowfinderMusic


This happens all over the world.. not just in Thailand. We gotta do better as humans..

Author — kekoa hoomanawanui


Pure nonsense!
- Are tourists to blame for no water treatment in the country and letting the sewer directly into the sea/ocean?!
- Tourists want fresh fish is the problem of over-fishing? What kind of argument is it? Tourists in Austria don't want fresh fish? Thai government needs to deal with fishing limits not tourists!
- Garbage comes from tourists? Like TV?? It's mostly their garbage, of locals! Perhaps they need to invest in garbage collection when gathering so much profit from tourism!?!
- Reefs are a living thing just as the whole planet. It changes. Over-fishing might affect that, but tourists not for sure!

Do you even want to make a documentary or someone forces you to? Looks like you spent money on partying there and not real journalism and quality production!

Author — Bearded Elder


destroying themselves by their own greed. Increase fees and taxes to increase services like sewage, sanitation, etc until it balances out the damage tourism is doing.

Author — dodgeplow


We are the worst animals in the world 🌎

Author — Alleodor


30 years agp thailand was great ...not now !

Author — scott mitchell


So Thailand reaps a financial windfall in tourism and can't build into their infrastructure a way to dispose of the waste generated
by the huge influx of tourists.
I don't believe for a second that all the tourist are just standing on their beaches throwing all their garbage on the ground
and into the water, where's civic pride or the police?
Once again instead of taking responsibility for their situation they take the money from the tourist and then blame the same
tourist for what? not bringing with them an adequate means of disposal. Look at Hawaii and other places with a high volume
of tourists, they don't have this problem to this degree do they?

Author — omallyman


corruption seems to infiltrate everywhere

Author — FBP muffs


Don’t just blame on the tourists. It’s up to your country to protect the natural environment, and enforce littering is prohibited. So, what did your government do?

Author — grumpy oldman


Most of this trash is not left by tourist, indeed most tourists are environmentally conscious. The culprits are mostly the locals that dump trash every where and the very bad rubbish collection infrastructure.
Most trash gets washed into the sea via rivers and waterways where locals dump their trash, or carried by torrential rains.
On top there is no recycling, trash gets burned or buried.

Author — Go Vegan Ban Animal Farm-Fish- Hunt & Exploitation


Hi … I live in Thailand and area where there is only 5 non Thai's to 2200 Thai's. A lot of Thai's come to visit here on the weekends and the beaches are covered in plastic and items by fishermen on boats floating on the beach (light blubs old nets and glass bottles etc.

So in this area you can't blame tourism all the time. Better management of waste is needed and countries from the west can help with projects that have worked in their tourism resort areas. Better recycling is needed in Thailand and in many other countries, but us the people need to agree stop using plastic. Easier and cleaner to use paper bags, canned drinks etc.

Companies need make things last longer (TV's, computer etc only last for a few years now).

Better if we all stop pointing fingers and start changing, clean Earth we all only have one home (earth)

Author — Ray Madigan


This eco damage is caused by a failing by the Thai Government to make some enforceable rules, such as, keep off the reef at all times.

Author — Daddybob


Everyone wants to live the rich high life advertised to them on their screens every day.

Author — Robert Poen


11:40 The mainland Chinese wouldn't care either way... If they had coral reef in China they'd have no qualms about destroying it and they most certainly won't care about it in another country. Also by no means is my comment racially motivated. It's a well documented fact that the mainland Chinese have little respect for the places they visit. So much so that the CCP have started campaigns encouraging Chinese tourists to change their behaviour whist abroad. A simple search on YouTube will give you some prime examples of what I'm talking about...

Author — justschr


This is happening in so many places around the world. Soul destroying, to say the least.

Author — Carol Hogg


Excellent documentary. Very sad what we humans do to the enviroment.

Author — Richard Lawson