About 80 local massage vendors in Phuket protested at the Phuket City Hall complaining about massage shops which were allegedly being invested in by foreigners operating with much lower prices, hurting their business.
The protest yesterday morning (August 19th) was led by Mr. Tansiwit Klaichaem from local massage vendors associations. They filed a letter to the Phuket Governor.
Mr. Tansiwit told The Phuket Express, “There is a massage shop chain which has been invested in by foreigners but operated by Thais. They have many shops in Phuket, all essentially a copy of each other. Normally, the price for a massage in Phuket as agreed upon by local massage associations is about 300 baht but this shops massage fee is only 150 baht. This price is impossible as the cost should be higher than that. This chain does not participate in local associations and has refused to listen to us. So now we must go to a higher level of authority.”
“Other local massage shops that have been closed during the Covid -19 pandemic are unable to reopen as they cannot afford to operate with that low price. Other local massage shops that are being opened now also have fewer customers as they all are using the lower price chain massage shops.”
The Phuket Vice Governor Arnuparp Rodkwan Yodrabam told The Phuket Express, “We will find a solution for this issue as soon as possible and to check the massage shops to see if they are compliant. It is unclear if the chain is doing anything illegal at this point and will need further investigation but as they are upsetting many people locally and causing unrest a peaceful solution and compromise must be found between the different parties.”
The name of the chain was withheld pending the further investigation.