Connect with us

Opinion

Blisterful beach: The need for umbrellas on Phuket’s key tourist beaches

Legacy Phuket Gazette

Published 

 on 

PHUKET: Despite some recent stormy weather, the “official” start to Phuket’s annual high season for tourism got underway as planned on November 1, kicked off by this year’s installment of the annual Phuket Carnival in Patong.

With a spectacular street procession, free concerts, fireworks and a wide range of other high-profile activities, this year’s event was branded under the theme “Blissful Beach” (story here) in recognition of the unprecedented efforts by the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) to rid the island’s beaches of illegal vendors.

But despite all the pomp and circumstance, Phuket’s most popular beaches have yet to attain “blissful” status so far this high season. The “clean sweep” of the beaches has led to the complete disappearance of its most wanted service – the beach loungers and umbrellas for rent – even as jet-skis and speedboat parasail operators continue their, at times, lethal tourism services unabated (story here).

Lest we forget, Phuket’s beaches remain the island’s premier attraction for many, if not most, foreign visitors. The Phuket Gazette has received numerous queries from visitors in recent months asking if they could expect loungers and umbrellas to be available for them – or if they should opt for another destination.

In contrast, nearly every comment the Gazette receives about jet-skis and speedboat parasail operators are complaints: most often about the notorious “damage scams”, but also about how annoying and dangerous they are.

The pre-coup situation on Phuket’s beaches was in long need of an overhaul, but failure to allow the return of the beach-lounger-and-umbrella combos in time for the high season comes across as a classic case of “throwing out the baby with the bath water” (story here).

For better or worse, Phuket evolved as a beach tourism destination with beach loungers and parasols as an integral part of the infrastructure. That corrupt local politicians used them to illegally amass personal fortunes over the years does not negate that reality.

Their absence not only compromises the island’s attractiveness to a huge segment of tourists, but also runs the risk of turning well-intentioned efforts “to return happiness” into an international debacle: with “blissful” replaced by “blisterful” to describe the sun-baked reality.

Tourists need loungers and parasols not only as convenience, but as the first line of defence against the sun’s rays. Sadly, untold thousands of units remain stacked uselessly away in beachside locations and many people remain unemployed as a result.

It is obviously too late to develop a comprehensive plan for a fair and transparent beach lounger rental industry for this high season, but by whatever means, we need to get them back on our beaches as soon as possible: like sandbags in the face of rising floodwaters. We can figure out a better long-term solution during the next low season.

 

Want more Thailand news from the Thaiger family?

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS for instant updates on your mobile
📝️ Join the conversation on Thaiger Talk - discuss news & life in our Thailand forums
📧 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🔔 Subscribe to or Join our YouTube channel for daily video updates

image

Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Thailand31 mins ago

Killer’s sentence reduced from 10 years to 3, plus community service

Phuket37 mins ago

Over 300 Phuket businesses awarded SHA Plus accreditation ahead of re-opening

Chon Buri1 hour ago

142 new Covid infections in Chon Buri, clusters in market workers and close contacts

Phuket Sandbox July 1st

days
hours
minutes
seconds

Thaiger is getting behind local businesses for the restart of tourism in July - up to 50% discounts across all advertising packages in June!

Sponsored by image

Phuket1 hour ago

Phuket 62% vaccinated, Sandbox ready to play in, hopefully

Coronavirus (Covid-19)2 hours ago

Friday Covid Update: 3,058 new cases and 22 deaths

Krabi2 hours ago

Krabi hotels pin hopes on Phuket sandbox success

Tourism2 hours ago

Tourism bodies concerned vaccination uncertainty will disrupt re-opening

Indonesia3 hours ago

Over 350 vaccinated medical workers in Indonesia infected, dozens hospitalised

Coronavirus (Covid-19)10 hours ago

Nightlife businesses petition government to reopen, sell alcohol

Coronavirus (Covid-19)14 hours ago

Koh Larn 70% vaccinated as Pattaya eyes reopening

Economy16 hours ago

BMA extends permits for street vendors to 2 years for stability

Phuket17 hours ago

Expats in Phuket without a work permit can register for a Covid-19 vaccine

Environment17 hours ago

Tar balls wash ashore on several Phuket beaches

Thailand17 hours ago

Thailand News Today | Private vaccines, PM promises to re-open Thailand, Phuket Sandbox | June 17

Thailand18 hours ago

2 dead following truck crash

Thailand4 months ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism4 months ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket4 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism4 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand4 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism4 months ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Southern floods, Face mask fines, Thai Air Asia woes | January 8

Trending