The decision has been confirmed to The Phuket News today (Nov 5) by Gov Chamroen who understands that tourists should have the choice of sitting outside of the 10pc zone with their loungers and umbrellas should they choose to do so.
However, he also confirmed that the rule may well change when each beach has its own rules and regulations finalised.
V/Gov Chokdee confirmed on Oct 28 that the 10% beach rule was to stay after he concluded his third meeting with local police, district officials, community leaders and beach operators in Thalang.
The 10% rule allowed vendors renting out umbrellas and sun loungers to tourists to occupy not more than 10% of the beach area. The rule was one of many introduced by previous Phuket Governor Nisit Jansomwong in January as part of the beach cleanup campaign ordered by the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO), headed by Prime Minster Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha.
Consequently, the same rule meant that beach-goers were not permitted to use even their own umbrellas and sun loungers outside the designated areas. (See story here)
Speaking to The Phuket News today, Gov Chamroen said, “All beaches belong to public so it would be harmful if we restrict people from using their own items when on the beach.
“However, by the end of this month each beach will finalise their own rules and regulations and they will be the final rules which everyone must follow.
“The beach committee will have to supervise and make sure that at this time beach vendors do not take advantage of the current rule and do rental services on the beach,” he said.
Gov Chamroen also stated that he had learned of previous problems that occurred during the last beach management system when tourists were allowed to bring loungers and umbrellas to the beach.
He stated that some beach vendors would approach tourists to do business before they reached to the beach.
“Each beach will introduce their own beach supervisor to check on the beach regularly. Whoever is responsible for overseeing that beach will have to look after it and keep it in the order,” he said.
“If any beach is found to allow beach vendors to do the rental serviced on their own beach they will not even get the 10pc zone. The beach vendors have to understand the rules and adhere to them,” he added.
Gov Chamroen believes that the new systems can bring the beach vendors out of the dark and into the light. However, they must be organised and legal, and they must pay income tax into the systems.
“We will bring them light. They have been in the dark for sometime, but from now on they will be put into the system. They will be registered and become a taxpayers and that will benefit the country,” he said.
According to V/Gov Chokdee who oversees the beach management committee a new Phuket Beach Model, “One beach, One rule, One map and One organization” was launched yesterday at Phuket Provincial Hall.
“We would like to set the standard for all beaches under this beach management model. All beaches will have the same standard and direction but with different rules,” V/Gov. Chokdee said. “Each beach committee will issue their own rules and regulations which best suit their own beach,” he added
He also said that the committee will start the campaign by going out to the beach areas to study the real situation and setting up a true 10% beach area for vendors this Friday.
“Patong Beach will be the first, we will be there with the committee this Friday morning. We will try our best to set a standard for all beaches. This could be a role model for beach management all across the country,” he said.
Vice Governor Chokedee still believes that the Phuket beach management system can be finalised by November 15.