A Jomtien Beach vendor was ordered closed for 15 days after an online video showed her haranguing a tourist over parking near her umbrellas and chairs.
The unidentified tourist recorded the exchange while sitting in a car that was trying to park on Jomtien Beach Road in front of the vendor’s plot of sand. The vendor insisted the Thai tourists move their vehicle if they weren’t planning to use the vendor’s services.
Jomtien municipal enforcement officer Karanjarat Panprasong said such incidents are not new and are far too common. Previously vendors fought with drivers of Chinese tour buses.
Now, given the dearth of any sort of tourist, “we would like the beach umbrella operators to create a welcoming tourism atmosphere and compromise,” Karanjarat said.
Pattaya Deputy Mayor Manote Nongyai was less diplomatic.
“The fight between the beach umbrella operator and tourist was inappropriate,” he said. Jomtien Beach Road “is a public road that everyone has the right to use. The important thing is that operators should be good hosts and welcome tourists with warmth.”
As a result, operator Wanpen Buacharoen’s business was suspended for 15 days. A repeat offense will bring and 30-day suspension and, if busted a third time, Wanpen’s franchise will be canceled, Manote said.
For his part, Wanpen claimed he wasn’t fighting with the tourist, despite what the video showed. He said he had advised the tourists to move for their own protection, so as not to get a ticket for parking on the beach and not using beach services, which actually is not required in the law.
Wanpen said he regretted his actions and that his wife tried to apologize, but to no effect.