Beach vendors and sun lovers offered mixed reviews of Pattaya’s new beach-chair regulations, with vendors bemoaning the required Wednesday shutdown while tourists said they appreciated having choices.
Chonburi Province officials finalized the new regulations Dec. 12 that will see Pattaya and Jomtien beaches go umbrella-free one day a week and provide a few more meters of free sand to the public on other days.
Many tourists are now enjoying the fact they can bring their own mats to lie on at Dongtan Beach.
Poon Burat, 51, said he came from Sisaket 17 years ago to run his beach-chair concession at Pattaya Beach Road sois 11-12. The new rules, he said, will cost him about 14 percent of his business, in that he must shut down once a week.
Combined with the effect of lower tourist numbers and a slow economy, that 14 percent feels more like 70 percent, he said. Poon said he relies on regulars, who have been in shorter supply.
The new rules, he said, have their pros and cons. It’s good that the beach will look more beautiful, but the flip side is the economic impact.
New Zealander Darryl Reeves, 59, said he’s been visiting Dongtan Beach for three years. He is pleased that tourists now have the choice whether to lie on their own mats or rented beach chairs. He said he likes to bring his family to the beach and sometimes they brought their own mat. Other times they rented chairs.
He agrees with the idea that the beach should have divided spaces for both beach chairs and for tourists to lie on the sand.