Local authorities have banned vendors from operating on Na Jomtien Beach after they colonized a new stretch of the seaside resort in Pattaya to sell their products.
The authorities issued the directive following a conflict over the public spaces on the popular beach between local sellers in Pattaya and visitors.
In April, authorities added more sand to the seaside spot to make the beach 800 metres’ longer. 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 any access to people wanting to use the sandy area.
Tourists complained to Pattaya authorities that local vendors parked their food carts at the parking area along the beach, and blocked them from accessing the beach and parking. The merchants’ carts also caused huge traffic problems on the road.
The Facebook page, ฟุตบาทไทยสไตล์, which means Thai-style footpath, uploaded a picture of Na Jomtien Beach revealing the stretch of sand full of bean bags, tables, mats, and decorations from local restaurants.
The caption said, “My followers sent me this picture. Na Jomtien Beach. Vendors don’t care about the sign installed there (instructing vendors to keep off the beach). The beach was improved for people to enjoy, but these vendors reserved the spaces. They did it like the spaces are theirs.”
The dispute between vendors and visitors culminated at a meeting yesterday.
Five local government organisations, including Na Jomtien Sub-District Office, Sattahip Royal Navy, Na Jomtien Police Station, and Pattaya Marine Office, discussed the issue and agreed local vendors set up their shops without permission. They took over public spaces for their benefit and caused many issues like trash problems, conflicts among sellers themselves, and traffic jams.
The meeting concluded by declaring a by-law banning all businesses from reserving spaces on the beach, sidewalks, and roads, to operate for personal benefits. The law comes into effect on Monday, June 27.
The cooking of food, selling food or products, parking food carts, or setting up shops on roads, sidewalks, and public spaces violate the Public Cleanliness Act. People who break these restrictions could face a fine of up to 2,000 baht.