PHUKET: The Great Paris Hilton Debate continues on Phuket tomorrow when Phuket's Governor meets with resort representatives and the organiser of the two-day party at Surin beach this New Year.
Without going any further, Phuketwan has to declare the following bias on this issue:
We believe all Phuket beaches should be managed by a single Phuket Beach Authority with the responsibility for protecting Phuket's beaches and managing their future, as Phuket's prime tourist attractions.
Our view is that the farce surrounding this beach party at Surin is evidence that all of Phuket's beaches need to be managed more efficiently, for the sake of the future of tourism on Phuket.
Most readers are probably familiar with the issue.
A two-day New Year party has been organised for Surin beach at a time when all of Phuket's five-star resorts are fully booked, and when the island usually posts a ''house full'' sign.
The promoters of this event, Bangkok-based and Bangkok-organised, and allegedly backed by the Bangkok government, believe they can attract 50,000 fans to a grand two day event on Surin beach over New Year.
The owners of six resorts and villa havens around the beach have written an open letter to Phuket Governor Maitree Inthusud, pointing out that it's a great idea - but in the wrong place and at the wrong time.
Phuket needs more families looking to relax, especially the well-heeled groups who come to the island between Christmas and New Year.
Resort managements are usually very shy and for six of them to send an open letter is an indication of their concern about this event.
What they actually mean by writing the letter is that the hard work they have put into building up regular family customers to return year after year to relax on Phuket will be blown away if this event goes ahead.
How did this concept reach the stage where it was announced by Paris Hilton in Bangkok, without the resorts surrounding Surin beach knowing?
Who approved it? And who has the right to decide when Phuket's public beaches are used for private gain?
These are the questions that Phuketwan will be asking if we are allowed into tomorrow's meeting.
While we do not doubt the good intentions of the organisers, we think this is a classic case of the left hand not knowing what the right hand is doing.
Whoever gave permission, whoever sanctioned this event, did not ask the right people about whether it was a good move for Phuket at this time of the year, at Surin beach.
And that's why whatever happens tomorrow, a new body - the Phuket Beach Authority - should be created to make sure a conflict like this one doesn't arise again.
Phuket's beaches are Thailand's public treasures. Any commercial activities taking place on them should be held purely in the interests of preserving them for future generations.
We hope all the participants at the meeting at Provincial Hall in Phuket City tomorrow agree.