Clubs and bars are asking the government to extend the opening hours until 4 a.m., in a bit to boost the economy as the tourism sector starts to recover.
Nightlife business owners are gunning for the government to allow them to open until later into the early morning at 4 a.m., from the current mandated closing time of 2 a.m. Businesses in tourist hotspots expect this measure will help boost the economy and bolster the sector’s recovery, with a 20-30% jump in revenue expected.
Mr. Sanga Reuangwattanakun, President of the Khao San Road Business Association, said this request will be proposed to Cabinet at next week’s Cabinet meeting by the Minister of Tourism and Sports Pipat Ratchakitprakarn.
He said he agrees with the proposal to pilot this opening hours extension only at specific zones, namely Khao San Road, Soi Cowboy, and Soi Patpong in Bangkok, as well as Bangla walking street in Phuket, and other tourist hotspots in Krabi, Phang Nga, Samui, and Pattaya.
Mr. Sanga said a zoning regulation like this will help facilitate the work of officers in terms of drunk driving suppression, suggesting checkpoints placed around these zonings would encourage people to take more taxis, helping provide more income to taxi drivers.
Mr. Weerawit Krueasombat, President of Patong Entertainment Association in Phuket, said the association has been submitting formal requests to several agencies for the closing time extension until 4 a.m., to better accommodate tourists in the area.
He said the longer opening hours will better meet the lifestyle of tourists from Europe, who usually start visiting nightclubs around 10-11 p.m.
The Thai Public Taxi Association says they are willing to support and comply with the new regulation. Taxi drivers have also been heavily affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. They have adjusted to the situation by refitting their cabin with partitions and serving COVID-19 patients during the time of peak transmission when the number of regular passengers greatly diminished. (NNT)