After years of failing to enforce a junta-era ban on speedboats using Pattaya Beach, city hall said it finally will do so starting March 1.
The National Council for Peace and Order announced on May 8, 2018 that speedboats must all move to Bali Hai Pier because embarking and disembarking passengers on the beach was unsafe and tour buses clogged traffic. But it quickly became apparent that no one in authority – from either the army or Pattaya City Hall – would actually enforce the ban and the boat operators returned with impunity.
Enforcement was entirely forgotten during the coronavirus pandemic when Pattaya had few tourists. Now, however, there are many tourists and too many speedboats on the beach.
In December, the Marine Department threatened heavy fines on boat operators who continued to use the beach, but, again, nothing was done.
Mayor Poramet Ngampichet on Feb. 15 said the decision was now made to enforce the ban and impose fines starting March 1.
All boats also will be required to have radios to contact the Marine Department to inform it of departure and arrival times. Larger boats must have speakers where the crew can tell all passengers to wear life vests and, of course, the boats must actually have enough vests, and safety equipment, Poramet said. Regular inspections were promised.