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Officials plan to launch a New Year crackdown on beachfront transportation operators and motorcycle-rental agents in order to reclaim public property and ensure tourists aren’t cheated.
Trat deputy governor Prathan Surekitbavorn said that, starting early next year, Koh Chang District and municipal officials will strictly regulate traders and services aimed at tourists.
The province is asking police and the military to assist with enforcing rules on the traders, particularly in regard to parking lots for public buses and motorcycles for rent.
After implementation of the new rules, about 800m of beachfront should be left open for tourists.
The municipality now offers three parking lots per rental bike operator. It has a total of 105 lots available and currently there are 31 operators registered with the municipality.
The municipality prohibits the vendors from reserving parking spaces by placing chairs or cars in lots allocated for motorcycles, but the prohibition is routinely ignored.
Sanya Kerdmanee, Mayor of Koh Chang, said the public buses and van operators are also required to supervise vehicles under their control and not overcharge. Clear signs will be posted to inform passengers of the correct fares.
English-language signage will also be placed at the ferry pier to provide information on public transport services available on the island.
“Koh Chang is a famous tourist destination known globally, so it is necessary to regulate the operators before the situation gets out of control,” Mr Sanya said.