The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) Phuket Office Director Anoma Vongyai replied:
Thank you for informing us of your concern. Actually, I get a lot of complaints about this in Phuket and I completey understand your reason for concern.
The beach clearing organisation made several people satisfied – but it wasn’t ideal for those who were looking to enjoy the island’s sands in comfort. In Karon, like all beaches in Phuket, our intention is for everyone to enjoy the beautiful landscape.
All of the beaches belong to the public so at least you don’t need to worry about spending money on beach umbrellas. I would like to apologise for any inconvenience that this may have caused.
Phuket officials also received complaints from beach goers of overpriced supplies and some workers even made threats to use their service – which was also destroying Phuket’s tourism image. I believe that clearing all the beaches was a great solution, since it helped to erase the (bad) image.
However, at this stage, Phuket officials are discussing ways to resolve this issue. All of the complaints that have been sent to us are under consideration and we will find a way to balance this for beach tourists and operators.
Moreover, I was informed that many hotels have organised a solution for their guests. I suggest contacting your hotel, as they might be able to provide alternative services for you. For example, they may have beach umbrellas near the pool or other facilities they could provide you with for sunbathing on the beaches.
Please do not change your mind, or cancel any bookings at this stage. Phuket still offers a lot of activities, especially in high season.
Officials have organised many exciting events. There are a number of beautiful beaches, an array of exciting food options, a unique culture as well as an old town to discover.
So, go ahead and enjoy your holiday in Phuket.
If you have a question that needs answered in Phuket, email firstname.lastname@example.org