A top Pattaya nightlife operator said 90% of the city’s bars are open again, but again called on the government to extend operating hours.
Damrongkiat Pinitkarn, head of the Pattaya Entertainment Operators Association, met March 1 with Prarinya Lienchid, chief of the Office of SME Promotion, a public organization tasked with boosting small- and medium-sized businesses, to brief him on the state of the nightlife industry.
He covered issues such as sign and maintenance taxes, debt problems, and limits imposed by the government. The prime one, he said, is the mandatory closing time of 2 a.m. As a tourist city known for nightlife, Pattaya should be allowed to remain open until 4 a.m., Damrongkiat said.
A major initiative to expand operating hours until 4 a.m. in all tourist cities was killed by the Public Health Ministry and the anti-alcohol lobby. There are no firm plans to revive it.
Damrongkiat said Pattaya’s bar and club business has nearly rebounded to 2019 levels, with 90% of surviving businesses reopening. But the tourist makeup is not the same. Westerners are in relatively short supply, with the top nationalities in Pattaya being Indian, Malaysian, Russian, South Korean and Chinese, he said.
Lastly, Damrongkiat reviewed safety in the wake of last year’s deadly Mountain B club fire in Sattahip. The business leader actually called on police to be stricter and the government to impose and enforce more safety requirements, including ensuring all venues have proper and current licenses and actively block minors, guns, drugs and human trafficking.