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Surin Beach locals not happy with MaAnn’s retention wall

Nattha Thepbamrung

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Surin Beach locals not happy with MaAnn’s retention wall | The Thaiger

The team of Phuket Provincial Office of Public Works and Town & Country Planning, Thalang District Chief and other officials led by the Chief of Cherngtalay OrBorTor gathered at Surin Beach today (November 15) to meet with a group of about 50 local villagers, who disagree with the plan to build a retention wall along Surin Beach that will cost 38,750,000 Baht.

The team of officials explained to the locals the background and plans for the retention wall, which is covered under the budget of the public works office. However, at the end of the talk, the villagers were asked to sign their names for another meeting as most still disagreed with the plans and have more questions.

“We understand that it is a part of the plan to enhance the landscape of Surin Beach and this retention wall will help protect the erosion of the beach. We agree on making the beach more beautiful but we disagree with the retention wall project that requires foundation piles installed in the sandy area of the beach,” said Jamlong Sittichok, a villager from Surin Beach.

“From all the information I have gathered, the erosion of this beach is caused by the retention walls built by individual business operators. When it is monsoon season, the waves are forced in a different direction where there is no retention wall. For Surin Beach, the erosion problem comes from the existing retention walls and won’t be solved by adding more.”

He suggested as a sustainable alternative that the local government should plant natural beach plants such as Seashore Screwpine, Sea Poison Tree and Indian Almond.

However MaAnn Samran commented that the many villagers who disagree with the project do so because they haven’t seen all the details of the plan, despite 7 or 8 public hearings.

“Though we hosted many public hearings we are still happy yo listen to the opinions of those who don’t know everything about the project. We will set another public hearing soon. The contractor will ensure the beach is returned to its normal condition before discussing the next step,” said the Chief of Cherngtalay OrBorTor.

Surin Beach locals not happy with MaAnn's retention wall | News by The Thaiger

Natural Resources and Marine Ecology Management Specialist, Wannakiet Tabtimsaeng, commented by saying that Surin Beach’s ecological system is quite lush and the retention wall will destroy the natural system.

“The structure of the retention wall is not sustainable and will encourage the wind to drag away the sand from the beach. The general condition of the beach is great, as we can see from the sea plants which help to maintain the ecology system of the beach. The changes at Surin Beach happens as a natural cycle. The sand is swept away from the beach during the monsoon and will be back onshore when the weather returns to normal,” he said.

“My concern is that the retention wall will change the ecology system and destroy both the mangroves and the beach. Digging the sand on the beach to build the wall already destroyed many big Seashore Screwpine that took a long time to grow. These plants help maintain the beach. Also, Surin Beach is a sloapy beach, not a flat one, so the changes on the beach are certainly not from erosion.”

Surin Beach locals not happy with MaAnn's retention wall | News by The Thaiger

 

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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Honest Person

    November 16, 2017 at 4:39 am

    I think they should bury the beach mafia and lifeguards in there so its nice and peaceful. At the moment its commercial exploitation of foreigners who are hassled as soon as they arrive at the beach. No rules and no laws. Even the lifeguards behave like mafia not professional lifeguards.

  2. Avatar

    harry1

    November 16, 2017 at 8:27 am

    l think a less expensive method would be big local rock and sea tree that would blend in with mother nature

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Patong

Phuket hotels slashing the price of rooms

The Thaiger

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Phuket hotels slashing the price of rooms | The Thaiger

by Sophie Deviller

Hotels on Thailand’s most popular holiday island are being forced to slash prices, with rooms left vacant and beaches sparse as Thailand’s tourism chiefs struggle with a plunge in Chinese visitors caused by the US trade war and a stronger baht. Phuket was the most visited destination in the country last year, after Bangkok, and a good gauge of the state of its crucial travel industry.

Tourism accounts for 18% of Thailand’s gross domestic product and Chinese holidaymakers make up more than a quarter of total arrivals. But while 2.2 million people from the country visited in 2018, according to official figures, the numbers for January-September were down almost 20% year on year.

Claude de Crissey, the French Honorary Consul in Phuket and owner of about 40 rooms in the Patong Beach area, says Chinese tourists are usually present even during the current low season.

“That was not the case this year,” he said, adding he had to lower his prices by as much as 50%.

The problem is not only in Phuket, with hotels also struggling to fill rooms in the seaside resort of Pattaya on the mainland and on Koh Samui.

Trade tensions with the US have already made some Chinese reluctant to take holidays owing to uncertainty back home, while the Thai baht has risen about 10% against the yuan this year.

A boating disaster off Phuket’s coast that killed 47 Chinese holidaymakers in July 2018 also scared some off.

“We are worried,” said an industry insider, declining to be named due to the sensitivity of the topic in a country where tourism provides tens of thousands of jobs. Adding to the headache is the fact that more than 3,000 new hotel rooms are being constructed on the island, raising the question of who will fill them.

Phuket hotels slashing the price of rooms | News by The Thaiger

“In terms of business, it’s not good,” said Kongsak Khoopongsakorn, vice-president of the association of hotels in Thailand and director of Vijitt Resort.

“Because … we have more hotels, more rooms to sell, we have more restaurants, more coffee shops.”

Still, tourism authority chairman Yuthasak Supasorn said he remained “optimistic.”

“We should reach our goal of 39.8 million foreign visitors.”

However, that is only up from 38.2 million in 2018, much less than the jump seen from the previous year’s total of 35.6 million.

Counting on India

Now hoteliers and tour package operators are targeting visitors from elsewhere, particularly India, which experts see as a huge untapped market.

A rapid expansion of the middle class in India, increased direct flights and visa-free travel have prompted Thailand to revise forecasts upwards.

It now expects two million Indian tourists this year, after an increase of nearly 25% on-year in the first seven months. But for now, the lower arrivals is evident on the streets of Phuket.

“I’ve never seen anything as bad as what it is at the moment,” said Paul Scott from Australia, who said he has been coming to Thailand for 15 years.

He mainly blamed the stronger baht for the drop-off but also the fact that Thailand wasn’t the untouched vacation paradise it once was. “Now it’s not so new … and it’s not cheap,” he said.

SOURCE: AFP

Phuket hotels slashing the price of rooms | News by The Thaiger

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Business

500 people own 36% of equity in Thai companies

Greeley Pulitzer

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500 people own 36% of equity in Thai companies | The Thaiger

Roughly 36% of Thailand’s corporate equity is held by just 500 people, highlighting wealth inequality in the Kingdom, according to a study released by the Bank of Thailand’s research institute.

Each of these 500 amass some 3.1 billion baht (102 million USD) per year in company profits, according to the report from the Puey Ungphakorn Institute for Economic Research. In contrast, average yearly household income in Thailand is around 10,000 USD.

A report out this week from the Economic and Business Research Centre for Reform at Thailand’s Rangsit University also pointed to divisive and polarised politics being another root cause of the economic divide.

Thailand’s private sector is dominated by tycoons running sprawling conglomerates. According to the World Bank, the gap between the mega-wealthy and the rest of the Thai population of 69 million is among the many economic challenges for Thailand. According to Bloomberg, the perception of a divide, exacerbated by an economic slowdown, is a major political fault line.

“Magnates arise in Thailand from institutional factors that privilege certain businesses,” said the executive director of PIER, author of the study.

The institute said Thailand needs to promote competitiveness to reduce profits from monopoly power and bolster entrepreneurship to create a more equitable distribution of corporate wealth.

The research is based on analysis of 2017 Commerce Ministry data on the 2.1 million shareholders in Thai firms, and was funded by the University of California San Diego.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Politics

Survey – Thais not taking sides and 66% prioritise health care

The Thaiger

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Survey – Thais not taking sides and 66% prioritise health care | The Thaiger

The majority of respondents to a Super Poll survey, say that they are still waiting to see where they will put their future support. For now they’re saying they neither support the Government or Opposition, preferring to wait to assess their performance.

Super Poll conducted the survey on 1,069 people from a wide range of occupations nationwide between October 1519.

The director of Super Poll, Noppadol Kannikar, says that one interesting finding was that 67.2% of respondents admitted that they prefer not to take sides, with the Government or Opposition, because both are currently under-performing and they want to wait to assess their performance.

But 16.9% of the respondents are supportive of the coalition Government, compared to 15.9% who oppose it.

On the question of Government spending, the survey showed 65.9% want quality health care as their top priority, 59.8% want good and secure jobs, 54.3% want security for their lives and property, 50.8% want increased road safety, 48.2% want government help for small and medium-size enterprises and 37.0% want government to provide them with housing.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

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