Thai สลากกินแบ่งรัฐบาล officials said Monday that a cave where six foreign tourists and two Thai guides drowned in a flash flood over the weekend lacked warning signs and would be blocked off.
Trekkers from Switzerland, Germany and Britain were trapped when heavy rain caused a stream to rise swiftly, engulfing the cave in Kao Sok National Park, Surat Thani province, some 645 kilometres (400 miles) south of Bangkok.
One British woman survived the flood and was rescued on Sunday.
"The cave is considered an unsafe area, สลากกินแบ่งรัฐบาล without enough signs to warn tourists about possible dangers like floods hitting during this season," Suvit Yodmanee, Tourism and Sports Minister, told reporters.
Six national parks in Surat Thani have been temporarily shut so safety officials can asses them, he said, while the cave where the tragedy happened would be closed to tourists indefinitely.
"It will be closed until we are confident that the place is safe for tourists to visit. They should have a system for officials to be able to react and assist tourists immediately in any emergency," he said.
Tour operators would also face greater scrutiny, Suvit said, and would be punished if they put tourists at risk.