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Staking out umbrella zones at Surin: wealthy tourists are not going to like it

Surin Staked for Umbrella Zones: Photos

Tuesday, March 17, 2015
PHUKET: Umbrella zones have been staked at Phuket's five-star beach, Surin, as the odd process of alienating tourists from Phuket's beaches continues.

The special areas for umbrellas were delineated yesterday along the Surin shorefront by a party of officials with bemused swimmers and a Phuketwan reporter looking on.

Surin is probably the best beach on Phuket at present, as long as the jet-skis stay away. The masseuses have been relocated to shops behind the foreshore pathway and the vista of the umbrellas and the sea is stunning.

That's going to change if authorities carry out their threat to corral all the umbrellas in the Phuket governor's ''10 percent'' zones. It's an alarming prospect.

The umbrellas at Surin beach yesterday were all placed on the hard sand, close to the water's edge. The umbrella zones staked by officials were all at the back of the beach, on the uneven, hot sand.

Anyone heading from the zones to the sea will have to wear flip-flops.

The first of the zones was staked outside The Pool Beach Club, a very large new building going up at the southern end of Surin despite an order by the local council that all beachfront premises are headed for demolition.

Other zones were placed along the back of the beach, including one outside Catch Beach Club, Phuket's first beach club and perhaps still its best-known.

The demolition last year of all of the illegal restaurants and beach clubs on the seaward side of the pathway has left Surin looking beautiful. How much further authorities are prepared to go will be a test of nerve.

The problem with the Phuket Governor's plan to corral the umbrellas into his ''10 percent zone'' is that tourists are not guinea pigs. Most of the visitors at Surin especially are wealthy travellers.

Authorities may think they can herd the tourists around on the beaches, then if the governor's plan fails, try something else.

Phuketwan believes that in ignoring the views of the tourists and imagining they will tolerate being penned and told what to do at the beaches, the Phuket administrators are displaying an arrogance that could come at a high cost for the island's future.

Comments

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By the day it becomes more crazy what is happening at Phuket beaches.
It is all about beaches, that means it is all about tourists, yes? Correct?
Did any Thai Phuket official ever talked with tourists? Ask tourists opinion? If not, why not? Before all these funny actions, which are ruining Phuket's beach reputation and making Phuket authorities worldwide to be laughed off.

Posted by Kurt on March 17, 2015 11:01

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Has the Phuket Governor consulted the tourists to ascertain their preference for the beaches on Phuket ?

Posted by Paul on March 17, 2015 13:06

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I agree with this delimitation as long as the area doesn't go over 10%. In fact I would prefer something like 5% only. The average temperature gets higher every year as well as beach erosion and also the number of tourists increases. Trees instead of the now too hot umbrellas are part of the solution to these 3 problems. Beaches can't be occupied by beds, that are welcome at swimming pools.

Posted by Anonymous on March 17, 2015 13:38

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What on earth are the police doing marking out beach areas? Surely that is a job for authorities & laborers? Can the police not find some real policing to do?

Posted by Logic on March 17, 2015 13:41

Editor Comment:

Those are municipal council officers.

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Well worded article and reflects my sentiments perfectly.

Arrogance indeed, treat tourists like cattle.

I can't wait to see the next "High Season" when the true consequences of these actions will be there for everyone to see and feel in their bones.

Posted by Herbert on March 17, 2015 14:14

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I saw this yesterday, and was wondering if the police were maybe a bit embarrassed to be out in the hot sun in full uniform demarcating where tourist can put an umbrella. At the same time, they are standing in front of a brand new beach club that is clearly outside the definition of an "original structure". Ma-Ann Samran had recently clarified that any structure that is not an original structure is therefore illegal and must be demolished. Something tells me certain people continue to have special privileges. Oh... and for the record, there were 2 umbrellas in the new "Special Zone" today, with about 15 further to the south, out side the silly umbrella zone.

Posted by Ed Sanders on March 17, 2015 15:22

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This is going to be 'great' to watch. Better comedy that on the telly!

Posted by Duncan on March 17, 2015 16:20

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Seems tourists are at the bottom of the food chain.

Posted by reader on March 18, 2015 02:32

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It is no secret that a fiasco will conclude all this, but then will we be back to square one with a generalized renting system of the sand, as we have seen with aligned sunbeds and parasols that destroyed the vista ?

Posted by Anonymous on March 18, 2015 08:31


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