KHAO SAN road businesses have appealed to the Interior Ministry to coordinate with Bangkok Metropolitan Administration in putting off removal of shop signs and arrange a meeting to work out a solution to this issue, Matichon newspaper said this evening (Mar. 4).
Mr. Sa-nga Ruangwatanakul, president of Khaosan Business Association, said these shop signs have been around for a long time and is the uniqueness of this tourist area with foreigners liking taking photos of them similar to the signs on Yaowarat road.
He also made the following points:
– The signs do not cause a problem for the general public nor obstruct traffic. Conditions can be imposed on putting them up such as having an engineer certify that they are sturdy;
– These shop signs are not large and have been installed to attract people’s attention because stalls obstruct the shop front;
– Owners have been paying billboard tax all along and as some of them have paid this tax in advance, dismantling shop signs would affect them.
Sa-nga also said that entrepreneurs were worried removing these signs would ruin the identity and popularity of this zone just as tourism is beginning to recover.
The total number of tourists has bounced back 80% of the total before the Covid-19 pandemic with most of them being Westerners but Asians too are starting to come in.
As many as 95% of the entrepreneurs had reopened their businesses with their revenue being nearly 70% of what was obtained prior to the pandemic, and the cash flow is now around 15 million baht a day.
Preparations are underway to organise Songkran celebration in April with this expected to be a big event that will draw tourists from across the world.
Khao San road shop signs and a crew removing some of them, above, and the popular tourist zone at night, Front Page. Credit: Matichon