On 9th July 2014 at Patong Beach in Kathu, Phuket, Kathu District Chief – Khun Sayan Chanachaiwong and Patong Mayor – Charlermluck Kebsab led a team of army, navy and volunteer guards to demolish beach businesses set up on the beach. The move came after it was announced that businesses set up on the beach are illegal and should be removed. It is estimated that around 300 workers will be affected by the closure of the businesses, however, training will be provided to any people affected so they can find alternative options to raise incomes.
The businesses affected include restaurants, massages, bars, and beach vendors etc, many of whom in time have started to gradually extend legitimate businesses to encroach on public land. Although requests have been made to the business owners to remove the illegal buildings, many have not done so; therefore, municipal officials will remove them and charge the owners the cost of doing so.
Khun Chalermluck said “There has previously been much publicity about how businesses have been allowed to set up on public beaches. Over time, there has been an invasion of people thinking they can own their own part of the beach, this has got to stop and the beaches must be returned to the public.
“Any businesses who have been affected should contact Patong Municipality after the weekend with any legal documentation they have which states they can carry on business on the beach so that reports can be submitted and further assistance and guidelines provided.”