Pattaya is cracking down on Koh Larn’s speedboat services after greedy operators overloaded boats and stranded passengers on the tourist island.
Komkrit Polwichid, head of the Pattaya Peace and Stability Department, chaired an emergency meeting on June 15 over the tour boat chaos at Bali Hai Pier that was allowed to fester amid non-existent regulatory enforcement during the coronavirus pandemic.
Since Koh Larn Coral Island reopened last week, social media has been riddled with critical posts about stingy speedboat drivers competing for Thai tourists.
A common tactic has been to sell round-trip trips at bargain prices, but tourists have reported that the drivers will leave them on the island, not returning to bring them back to Pattaya.
Others reported that the speedboats were dangerously overloaded and that no one in the city or the Department of the Navy was checking passenger loading.
Komkrit said Pattaya will now sell mooring licenses and regulate the number of speedboats that can service the Bali Hai Pier. Applications must be submitted by June 18, then the city will decide who can operate at the pier.
Private jetty access operators will likely return illegally to Pattaya Beach where no one will monitor what they charge or promise tourists or how many people they get on board.
Boat service from the beach is prohibited, but, again, depends on the authorities in Pattaya to enforce the law.