Connect with us

Opinion

Opinion: Phuket beach confusion never ceases to amaze

Published

 on 

PHUKET: The establishment of Patong Beach as the first strand to implement the ’10 per cent’ rule on beach use brings yet another surprising development in the utterly confusing and unpredictable effort to restore some semblance of order and predictability to Phuket’s beaches.

When the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) took power more than a year ago, the emphasis they placed on cleaning up Phuket’s tourism industry was not only commendable, but long overdue.

No previous national government, elected or self-installed, had ever given much serious recognition to Phuket’s many longstanding problems, let alone taken steps to tackle them.

Local governments, especially those controlling popular west coast resort destinations like Patong and Karon, had for years been far more interested in maintaining the lucrative status quo than salvaging the island’s reputation.

The government rightly targeted illegality and collusion in the transport sector as one of its first orders of business. The subsequent bombshell announcement that municipalities had no legal right to use beach land in their jurisdictions as their personal pocket-lining fiefdoms came as perhaps one of the biggest and most surprising outcomes of the May 2014 takeover, at least locally.

Sadly, the intervening eighteen months has failed to deliver a coherent policy about how Phuket beaches, the proverbial Goose that lays the Golden Egg, should actually be managed. The result is that we now find ourselves almost a month into the tourism high-season, with confusion continuing to reign over what is permissible on the beaches – and what is not.

As a resort destination, the wants and needs of tourists should be the primary driver of policy decisions on such issues. Consider the current situation from the standpoint of a prospective first-time tourist, one trying to ascertain through the internet whether or not Phuket should be his or her holiday destination of choice.

They will be confronted with a deluge of conflicting information and contradictory reports about issues as simple as “Will I be able to bring an umbrella to the beach?”; “Can I smoke a cigarette on the beach?”; and “Can I get a massage on the beach?”. Sadly, not even knowledgeable expat residents seem to know the answers to such simple questions anymore. This is unacceptable because consistency is a key component of any successful branding effort.

The Gazette continues to maintain that beach loungers and umbrellas, not just mats, are a key component of what helped the island develop as a world class beach-tourism destination. We need them, but only in manageable numbers.

Ironically, a glimpse at the Patong Beach zoning map, currently in Thai only (oopppps, we forgot about the tourists) confirms that the sole consistency in beach use policy seems to be the unfathomable, yet continued rigorous, support for Phuket’s notorious jet-ski rental industry.

In this sad respect, we live up to our well-deserved reputation of never ceasing to Amaze.

 

Get more from The Thaiger

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.

Click to comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

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

Follow Thaiger by email:

Environment13 hours ago

Sea turtle choked to death on plastic waste

Thailand13 hours ago

Thailand News Today | Big Feast For Monkeys At Lopburi Festival

South13 hours ago

Buddhists and Muslims rally for peace together in South Thailand

Sponsored21 hours ago

What makes Tops Fine Food the ideal place to shop for premium food in Bangkok

Thailand14 hours ago

Cowardly rapist arrested for a fifth time in Isaan

Songkhla14 hours ago

Russian crewman’s hand cut off in Songkhla ship accident

Transport15 hours ago

Cat out of the bag – Stowaway found in JFK passenger’s luggage

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Thailand15 hours ago

Murderer offers 100,000 baht to netizens to cut off his EM ankle bracelet

World Cup15 hours ago

Football fans riot in Brussels after Belgium defeat

Tourism15 hours ago

TAT holds Amazing Thailand Fest 2022 in India

Phuket16 hours ago

Gus, 7, youngest Thai person to reach Everest Base Camp

Expats16 hours ago

New direct flight between Muscat and Bangkok

Bangkok17 hours ago

Elderly Australian amputee abandoned in a hostel receiving care

Crime17 hours ago

Man arrested in South Thailand for attempted murder in Phuket

Thailand17 hours ago

Pattaya motorcycle taxi rider arrested for sexually harassing Thai singer

Cosmetic Surgery17 hours ago

Boobs ban! Macro-textured implants outlawed in Thailand

Thailand1 year ago

Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14

Thailand2 years ago

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

Tourism2 years ago

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

Phuket2 years ago

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

Tourism2 years ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand2 years ago

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

Tourism2 years ago

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

Thailand2 years ago

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

Thailand2 years ago

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

Thailand2 years ago

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

Thailand2 years ago

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

Thailand2 years ago

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

Thailand2 years ago

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

Thailand2 years ago

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

Thailand2 years ago

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

Trending