Tourism Authority of Thailand
License Number: 11/2802
Architects commissioned by the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) presented a plan to rebuild Patong Beach, at a cost of 550 million baht, to make the popular tourist attraction safe from any future tsunami while at the same time preserving its beauty.
Last Modified On: Tuesday, 05/December/2006 21:00:05pm
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The plan includes growing large trees along the beachfront and creating sand dunes to impede the progress of tsunamis heading for the resort town and designated four areas for different leisure activities - one exclusively for sunbathing; a sports area with a playground; a zone from Soi Bangla to Sawasdirak Rd for restaurants and nightlife venues and a public park with a large pavilion for concerts and weddings. The coastline along the beach road to Kalim Beach would be left undisturbed to preserve its natural beauty.
The plan advocated that no buildings be within 15 meters of the beach, and that all power and telephone cables be buried. It also called for sun loungers to be banned from the beach, replaced by plastic mats for sunbathers to lay on, and for the number of beach umbrellas to limited to 1,500, compared with the estimated 7,000 that were on the beach before the tsunami.
The beach chair operators, with the support of former Deputy Mayor Somkiat Kuru and other beach business operators, have successfully petitioned Phuket Governor Udomsak Usawarngkura, the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) and Patong Municipality, to be allowed to set up loungers on the beaches - if only on a temporary basis.
Currently, they are allowed to set up a single row of plastic beach loungers with tables and umbrellas. Heavy wooden beach loungers, most of which were destroyed in the tsunami and are thought to have been responsible for many deaths, are banned.