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Pattaya’s Jomtien Beach vendors are putting up a fight over new rules

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Jomtien vendors protest, photo by The Pattaya News edited.

Vendors on Pattaya’s Jomtien Beach aren’t having it with the beach’s new rules for them. Local authorities plan to ban vendors from operating at the beach after the vendors used a new stretch of the beach to sell their products. The new space was created for tourists to enjoy but merchants, local businesses, and hawkers quickly moved onto the area setting up stalls, tables, chairs, etc., denying access to people wanting to use the sandy area.

Starting July 27, all businesses will be banned from reserving spaces on the beach, sidewalks, and roads, to operate for personal benefits. Those who violate the ban could face a fine of up to 2,000 baht. But the vendors aren’t going away without a fight.

Yesterday, about 300 vendors protested against the upcoming ban at the Na Jomtien Municipality in Chon Buri province. The protestors said the ban will destroy their livelihoods. According to The Pattaya News, the vendors spent an hour negotiating with Permanent Secretary Kanpong Suwanpathumlert.

Kanpong told the vendors that tourists used to ooh and ahh over the beach’s beauty, comparing it to Miami. But now, they complain about stalls on the walkway, unkempt tables and chairs, garbage, and traffic congestion, he said.

Kanpong said many Na Jomtien residents and tourists blamed the “misplaced” vendors for their inconveniences and had been begging authorities to do something. Still, Kanpong promised the vendors that he would quickly find an arrangement that benefits all parties.

However, Kanpong stated that to come to a compromise, the parties would need to enact the ban and “start from scratch,” discussing possible options from that point.

SOURCE: The Pattaya News

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A Thai-American dual citizen, Tara has reported news and spoken on a number of human rights and cultural news issues in Thailand. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in history from The College of Wooster. She interned at Southeast Asia Globe, and has written for a number of outlets. Tara reports on a range of Thailand news issues.

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