A swarm of desperate tourists have flocked to a Thai cave that has reopened a year after a young soccer team became trapped for weeks and a diver died trying to rescue them.

Officials from the Tham Luang National Park said at least 2000 tourists have arrived at the park to be among the very first to see the Tham Luang cave as it reopened to the public.

But only 20 people at a time were permitted to gain access to the cave entrance and first chamber of the complex, meaning hundreds of tourists were eager to put up with the long wait to gain access to the tragic cave.

Photos have emerged online of tourists in long queues at the reopening of the cave.

The cave had been officially closed since the June 2018 incident in which 12 boys from the Wild Boars soccer team and their coach became trapped for more than two weeks after the cave flooded during a visit.

In the dramatic incident that gripped the world, the young soccer players, aged between 11 and 16, and their coach fought to survive inside the flooded cave.

An international rescue mission to save the boys resulted in the tragic death of a Thai Navy Seal diver, Saman Kunan, aged 37.

The team was eventually rescued after more than two weeks, with 19 divers helped escort the final members from the cave after the tough and dangerous rescue.

The international operation to save the team involved more than 100,000 people, including 200 soldiers, 100 divers, and representatives from more than 100 government agencies.

Until now, tourists drawn to the tragic site in the northern Thailand area of Mae Sai had been restricted from accessing the cave, only able to see it from behind a fence.

Tham Luang’s status was upgraded from a forest park to a national park last month in recognition of the tragic event.