The Tham Luang cave in Thailand came into the limelight when a group of young footballers entered the cave along with their coach and could not come out. Exit points of the cave became inaccessible because of sudden rains and flooding in the caves and they had to remain surrounded by water for 17 days. The cave reopened last month and is now a tourist destination with innumerable stalls that sell attractive items to woo the tourists.

Daily Mail UK reports that the entrance to the Tham Luang cave is closed. However, food stalls have popped up nearby, as have shops that sell lottery tickets while Buddhist monks hand out trinkets to tourists.

Those who come here can take selfies and pay tribute to former the Thai Navy SEAL sergeant who lost his life when he delivered oxygen to the trapped boys on July 6.

The rescue was a Herculean task

A local woman, who sells lottery tickets near the entrance to the Tham Luang cave, admitted to the media that there had been efforts in the past to convert the cave into a tourist attraction. That has now happened, thanks to the unfortunate June incident as it drew global attention. There was panic when the boys did not return home after football practice. Initial investigation revealed a number of bicycles lying outside the cave and there were fears that they had gone inside.

Authorities launched a complicated search and rescue mission involving expert divers from Thailand, Britain, and Australia.

With every passing day, the situation kept getting complicated and it turned out to be a race against time. The boys and their coach had not panicked but had kept their heads cool and spirits high. Their escapade had all the ingredients of a potboiler and Hollywood was quick to seize the opportunity to announce that they would do something to put it in a film.

Tourism will help the locals

According to The Sun UK, the Tham Luang cave in the forest park in Chiang Rai was a nondescript area before the group of young footballers and their coach entered the scene. The cave reopened on November 16 and is now a popular tourist spot with plenty of footfalls that is encouraging the locals.

The authorities have plans to introduce tourist attractions like a museum to celebrate the rescue and commemorate the diver who lost his life during the rescue operation. Other plans include a tented resort near the entry road to the park. Locals are happy at the future prospects in the region because they expect tourism will help create more jobs.