Too many sun loungers, jet skis and umbrellas to the water line? . . . . Beach front / foreshore management is just as important in coastal destination development as destination land use management. Just ask your most important clientele – the tourist.
Governor Maitree Intrusud today announced a new regulation restricting commercial activities on all of Phuket’s beaches as follows:
”Only government officials who have been ordered to beautify the landscape, employ methods to combat coastal erosion, enhance beach safety by erecting surf warning signs, placing moorings for boats or carrying out an activity approved by the governor will be able to alter the new landscape from what it is now.”
The regulation enshrines into law the clearances that have taken place on all of Phuket’s beaches, climaxing today with Patong beach, where commercial activities are strongest.
The administration is likely to take seriously its obligation to find alternative work for the displaced vendors, who may need to be taught new skills.
So far, the majority of tourists have voiced approval for the natural looking beaches that disappeared under loungers and umbrellas decades ago.
The future for Phuket’s jet-skis remains unclear. Most people do not want them and do not use them. Those who do use them create noise and pollution that disturbs the vast majority.
One good piece of news may be coming for the beach clubs and restaurants that remain at Surin: because the original buildings were erected by the government, removing them may be difficult, even if their usage has changed dramatically with a new era on Phuket.
Image: Ronald Tan