The mapping out of the designated beach zones is to be carried out under the banner of “Phuket Beach Model: One Beach, One Rule, One Map and One Organisation”, he said.
“The ‘10 per cent rule’ is still the guiding principle, but not every beach will be the same. Small modifications will be introduced where deeemed appropriate so that the best combination is created for each beach,” V/Gov Chokdee said.
Accompanied by Navy personnel, V/Gov Chokdee took the time to explain to local beach vendors where the new designated areas will be – and the potential consequences of being caught providing services outside of those areas
The previous plan dedicated 200m zones on Patong Beach expressly for vendors, including food and drink vendors, umbrella rental operators and massage services, V/Gov Chokdee explained.
“This has now been reduced to 70m each,” he said. “The remaining 130m of each 200m zone are ‘free zones’ where beach operators are banned on the sands, but tourists may swim anywhere in the water within each of these 200m zones”
The math was easy, he added. “The beach length is about 3,500m long, so 10 per cent of is 350m. Divide by five zone leaves 70m each,” V/Gov Chokdee explained, noting that the previous calculations likely tried to factor the area of sand present at low tides.
However, in between each 200m “beach vendor plus tourist” zone are 200m zones where the famed jet-ski rental operators and parasail boats may operate, he added.
The five “beach vendor plus tourist” 200m zones plus the four “jet-ski and parasail operator” 200m zones cover the busiest 1.8km of Patong Beach. The Phuket News has yet to learn what the 1.7km of beach to the north and to the south of the main 1.8km stretch of sand will be dedicated to.
Markers will be installed on either side of each zone.
“Each marker’s position will be recorded by GPS. Any attempt to move these markers will result in legal action,” warned Kathu District Chief Sayan Chanachaiyawong.
“Later, we could even make these markers attractive for tourists, such as having nice designs on them featuring starfish or dolphins,” he added.
In another welcome move to re-organise Phuket’s key tourist beaches, Phuket Governor Chamroen Tipayapongthada on Thursday (Nov 5) announced hat beach goers should be allowed to put their loungers and umbrellas anywhere on the beach. (See story here.)