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.
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.