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Patong Beach sunbed, massage operators in spat over designated areas

Patong Beach sunbed, massage operators in spat over designated areas

PHUKET: Kathu District Chief Siwat Rawarangkul has stepped in over a disagreement between Patong Beach sunbed rental operators and beach massage masseuses arguing over which area on the sand is theirs to ply their trade.

By The Phuket News

Monday 5 December 2022, 10:32AM

The complaint by the masseuses who operate in “Zone 3” of Patong Beach, near the police box at the end of Bangla Rd, said encroachment by the adjacent sunbed rental operator had caused them to “suffer”.

Mr Siwat called the parties to discuss the problem at a nearby restaurant on Friday (Dec 2), said an official report of the meeting.

Present for the talks were representatives from the Phuket Land Office along with the President of the “Patong Beach Umbrella Association” as well as some of the masseuses and even operators of local restaurants nearby.

The names of people present for the talks were not reported.

In total, 10% of the length of Patong Beach has been designated for local operators to provide beach services with the total area broken into five zones, Mr Siwat explained.

A surveyor from the Phuket Land Office had inspected the beach and checked the boundaries of all five zones on Nov 30 to ensure compliance. The surveyor had found that the beach massage operators involved in the dispute had encroached beyond their allocated area, he added.

The massage operators were asked to move their operations back into the confines of their allocated area, Mr Siwat explained.

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However, the beach massage operators said that the sunbed operators were now occupying the entire area of Zone 3, which covers 73 metres of prime beach for serving tourists. The sunbed rental operator had expanded the area used, taking over the area since 10am on Nov 2.

The official report of the meeting concluded with a confusing resolution to the conflict.

A“suitable spot” for massage operator service points was to be set up, but still located in the area, Zone 3, according to the official map of the zones. However, there was no mention that the sunbed operator was to vacate any of the area occupied since Nov 2.

“Let’s join together to use only the area in the designated zone without conflict,” the report said.

Patong Municipality is to provide tents “that are in beautiful condition and do not destroy the beauty of the beach scenery” for operators in all five zones to use. The tents were described as “temporary”, meaning they can be removed from the beach each day.

Patong Municipality is also currently in the process of asking operators to comply with the specified regulations regarding providing beach services in the five zones, the report said.

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Capricornball | 06 December 2022 - 11:50:35

All the beaches are the same. Surin has been cleared last month, and has resurged with a vengeance, replete with boats and jetskis, which have always been illegal there. Full open season for illegal biz, with nary an inch of turf unaccounted for. Such a shame that nothing can be properly managed.

Kurt | 06 December 2022 - 10:25:20

Local government officials became scared of the  militair Central Government in BKK after the 2014 coup. That fear is over. As Central Government is to busy to keep herself standing. So, the phuket local officials shuffle things step by step back as it profitable was before the 2014 Coup. It's al the thai way of: "This is the way we do it", it was just temporarely stalled.

Kurt | 06 December 2022 - 09:04:42

...Patong Municipality is 'in the process' of ASKING operators??.. Not ORDERING? Hahaha. Here we see a clear ignorance example of power. One doesn't order cartels, but ask them polite, with cap in the hand, called 'processing' until things are forgotten and nothing changed.

JohnC | 06 December 2022 - 08:56:50

Nothing new here. Been going on for ever. They will take the whole beach as their own if they are not pulled in to line. Curious as to whether the masseuses at Patong are forced to pay 50% of their earnings to the 'beach mafia' same as Naiharn masseuses do if they want to work? Be interesting to know which senior gov officials control the whole money gathering business and how much they pr...

Kurt | 06 December 2022 - 08:46:05

That the Government years ago, after the army coup in 2014, did forbid the beach sunbed setting is 'forgotten' by operators. They don't want zones. They probably are now united in a cartel. Just wait for the resurgence of beach restaurants terrace outlets, like it was in Naiharn before the coup..

Prab | 05 December 2022 - 15:10:53

and the illegal firework daily until late in the night?? they managed to keep them quiet before covid and now seems like far west once again 

Fascinated | 05 December 2022 - 10:57:32

Spread like wildfire in Kamala as well. Now clearly out of the designated zones. As always too many 'businesses' chasing too little customers sees disputes. The illegal tuk tuk stand at the north end of Kamala Cemetery is very aggressive and intimidatory, also stinks of urine where they go under the bridge. they even have the temerity to block the side of the road with cones for 'their...


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