Instagram influencers hit with death penalty threat over popular photo

Instagram influencers hit with death penalty threat over popular photo

Mai Khao Beach, the strip of golden sand that runs alongside Phuket airport is regularly "buzzed" by airliners delivering tourists to the popular resort. It is known for its fantastic beaches and has become a major drawcard for the country.

Authorities in Phuket, Thailand are working to curb the number of visitors that flock to the famed Mai Khao beach, a picturesque location that has become popular thanks to its close proximity to Phuket International Airport.

"People and tourists will not be allowed to enter this area to take photos", said deputy Phuket airport chief Wichit Kaeothaithiam via the Bangkok Post.

A photo like this could now land you in jail. The beach has served as a unique backdrop for tourist selfies all because of its low-flying planes, which can be spotted frequently in the area.

Under the Air Navigation Act, those who are found in violation of these rules will be liable for maximum punishment set by the country.

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The penalties for breaching the zone can be anywhere from a small fine to the "maximum penalty of death" according to Kaeothaithiam.

While he agreed boosting airport revenue is important, he stressed tourism and safety must co-exist. "Tourism and safety must coexist". Here, planes are frequent and can be seen flying very low over the beach while en route to the runway.

Some locals however, believe the safety zone will impact tourism in the area.

"If the beach is closed, we will have serious problems because many tourists simply will not come, ' said Winai Sae-io, head of a local entrepreneurial stimulus program".

'I want (Airports of Thailand, which operates Phuket International Airport) to look at us and support locals in making (a) living here, too'.

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