City hall panel balks on proposed beach massage ban

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After considering a ban on all massage vendors on Pattaya-area beaches, a city advisory panel stepped back to let legislators write new regulations to solve the problems they cause.

At a May 18 Pattaya City Hall meeting, Pramote Sapsang, director of the city’s Natural Resources Department, said the number of people selling massages, manicures, tattoos and other aesthetic services on Pattaya, Jomtien and Naklua beaches has increased dramatically in recent months. All of them, he noted, are unregulated and have no licenses.

Pramote Sapsang, director of the city’s Natural Resources Department, says that beach masseuses are unregulated and none have licenses. Pramote Sapsang, director of the city’s Natural Resources Department, says that beach masseuses are unregulated and none have licenses.

Their constant pestering of beach-loving tourists – not to mention related problems with littering, petty crime and prostitution – is giving Pattaya’s beaches a bad name among visitors, Pramote said. The time has come, he added, for something to be done.

The panel at first debated proposing a ban of all such vendors from the beach. Area massage parlors are short of staff, advocates said. The displaced beach workers could go work there.

However, the panel – which has advisory powers only – dropped plans to move forward with any radical solution. Deputy Mayor Ronakit Ekasingh noted that the Pattaya City Council already is considering new regulations to curb beach pollution, prostitution and commerce. He said the city hall committee should wait to see what other legislators do before taking more action.