Pattaya officials have plans for a temporary solution to the drama over Jomtien Beach’s vendors. Earlier this year, a new stretch of the beach 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.
Since then, the drama has continued. Starting June 27, all businesses were banned from reserving spaces on the beach, sidewalks, and roads, to operate for personal benefits. Those who violated the ban could face a 2,000 baht fine. About 300 vendors protested the ban, saying it would destroy their livelihoods. Pattaya officials are now taking steps to help tourists enjoy the beach, and also help vendors earn a living.
Pattaya Mayor Poramet met with vendors, police, and health officials earlier this week to discuss solutions. The Public Health and Environment Department now plans to set up a committee to study the proposal for a temporary sales zone. The department will also set qualifications for vendors to apply to sell their goods in the zone.
Mayor Poramet has stressed that the zone will only be temporary. He said the zone is meant to help vendors recover from the economic devastation of CV-19 restrictions. It has not yet been reported when the zone will be implemented, or how long it will last.
Since the vendors were banned, locals around Jomtien Beach have enjoyed peace and quiet. We’ll see if their sigh of relief will last after the temporary sales zone is set up.