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More drama with Pattaya’s Jomtien Beach vendors

There’s been more drama between beach goers and vendors at Jomtien Beach in the south of Pattaya. A photo posted earlier this week on the Facbeook page ‘Footpath Thai Style’ raised alarm bells about the lack of walking space available on the beach. The photo shows the beach crowded due to street vendors, entrepreneurial locals and other beachgoers.

In April, authorities reorganised the beach’s vendors to give tourists more space to enjoy beach vibes after they received complaints that food carts are blocking the traffic and parking areas along the beach and the beach boardwalk (although it was slowly becoming less of a walk and more of a dodge).

After investigating the area, police found that sellers parked their food carts and equipment to reserve the space to sell food and drinks in the evening, which blocked the traffic and caused litter problems. The report said some food carts and equipment were seized, and the sellers were charged with breaking the Public Cleanliness Act.

But 2 months later, beachgoers say the problem is only getting worse, with nearly all the beach being taken up by seating and vendors. Pattaya’s new mayor, Poramase Ngampiches, has promised to make this one of his first priorities to find a middle ground in the situation – supporting local vendors’ opportunities whilst ensuring that beachgoers can enjoy the beach without harassment or half the beach taken up with commercial activities.

Poramese stated earlier this week that he knows how sensitive the issue is. He said he understood the perspective of the vendors, many of whom have struggled for 2 years to make any profit due to Covid-19 restrictions, and previous beach closures.

He also said, however, that the beach was never meant to be completely covered by vendors, driving away would-be beachgoers. Poramese added that he knew the beach’s popularity has caused massive traffic problems in Na Jomtien, ticking off locals in a spot previously known for peace and quiet.

Poramese plans to speak with people from both sides of the issue to propose a solution, but he has given no specific time frame.

SOURCE: The Pattaya News

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