Connect with us

Opinion

Opinion: Will clubbing Phuket’s beach venues prove to have been worth it?

Legacy Phuket Gazette

Published 

 on 

PHUKET: The demolition of the government-built buildings along Surin’s beachfront, which once housed a number of iconic Phuket beach clubs, marks the end of an era on the island.

Unlike numerous other beach venues that have been demolished since the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) started to sweep opportunistic, mafia-style business ventures from Phuket’s sands, tearing down these buildings breaks new ground.

The standard justification for removing buildings from the island’s beaches has been that the beaches belong to the public and are not to be a source of profit for the few who have illegally laid claim to them. However, a balance was necessary as the government juggled its desire to return the beaches to their natural state and the need for locals to support their families, which ushered in the 10 per cent rule.

The exceptions to the rule are virgin beaches, which are to remain uncluttered by vendors and their products. From these virgin sands emerged Surin Beach, which was dubbed the island’s ‘Honorary Beach’ to pay tribute to HM King Bhumibol Adulyadej’s visit to it in 1959.

Nonetheless, the buildings demolished were not on the beach. They were constructed in the adjacent public park after the 2004 tsunami by the Cherng Talay Tambon Administration Organization (OrBorTor) and the Phuket Provincial Administration Organization (PPAO) to provide economical opportunities to locals and boost tourism in the area. The strip of shops eventually became stylish, high-end venues iconic to the island’s beach club scene, housing Bimi Beach Club, Catch Beach Club, Diamond Beach Club and Zazada Beach Club, as well as a number of restaurants and other shops.

The demolition in 2014 of small structures associated with the businesses that had crept across the access path onto the beach itself seemed well within the lines of the NCPO’s plan. However, the destruction of all the government-built facilities that served as home base for these businesses took the effort to an entirely new level, as millions of baht of domestic and foreign investment were dumped into what is now just a pile of rubble in a public park.

Given that the buildings housing the clubs were built legitimately, and that it has taken officials nearly two years to decide the fate of the well-intentioned investors, it is no wonder investor confidence has been shaken.

But despite the quakes and tremors, established hospitality businesses on the island continue to invest. Within hours of losing both of its beach clubs at Surin, the Twin Palms group announced the opening of another one, in Kamala, soon.

As has been the case with nearly everything reasonably expected in the past to undermine investor faith here – from the government coups, the tsunami and Bird Flu scares to revelation of the land department’s wholesale business in the issuance of fake title deeds – Phuket’s tourism industry continues to show no signs of retreat.

We join the public in hoping that local officials will follow through with the NCPO’s plan to ensure the beautification of Surin Park so that it will indeed be an honor to HM The King. Given the recent history of public angst over the goings-on at that location, failure for this to happen would now be inexplicable.

 

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:

Coronavirus (Covid-19)3 hours ago

Koh Larn 70% vaccinated as Pattaya eyes reopening

Economy5 hours ago

BMA extends permits for street vendors to 2 years for stability

Phuket7 hours ago

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

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

Environment7 hours ago

Tar balls wash ashore on several Phuket beaches

Thailand7 hours ago

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

Thailand7 hours ago

2 dead following truck crash

Thailand7 hours ago

Outbreaks at factories rise, operators ordered to file Covid risk assessment

Thailand8 hours ago

Prayut going to Phuket, see if it’s Sandbox ready

Coronavirus (Covid-19)8 hours ago

Chulabhorn Royal Academy details Sinopharm vaccine insurance

Thailand8 hours ago

Thai-English auto-translate down on Facebook due to “technical issues”

Best of9 hours ago

Top 8 Things to do in Phuket

Crime9 hours ago

Famous/infamous murder suspect out on bail wins lottery

Thailand9 hours ago

Police arrest 2 men for allegedly trying to extort 2 million baht from a man

Phuket10 hours ago

Electricty outages in Phuket today

Phuket10 hours ago

Officials tinker with definition of “population”, “find” over 70% of Phuket is vaccinated

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