Lift Alcohol Ban for Tourists by Nov 1, 2021: Thai hotelier appeals

William E. Heinecke, Founder & Chairman, Minor International.

Minor International
Founder& Chairman

October 25th, 2021

To: Pol.Gen. Aswin Kwanmuang
Governor of Bangkok
173 Dinso Road, Sao Chingcha Sub-district
Phra Nakorn, Bangkok 10200

Subject: Lift Alcohol Ban for Tourists by November 1st , 2021

Dear Governor,

We at Minor International salute you and your office on your adept suppression of COVID-19 cases in Bangkok during recent weeks. We look forward to the continued abatement of this virus and the damage it has wrought on our city. We support and applaud all efforts to return to pre-pandemic normalcy, particularly when it comes to commercial activities. Therefore, I write you to urge for the prompt resumption of retail alcohol sales to tourists in metropolitan Bangkok.

As one of Thailand’s largest providers of hospitality to foreign visitors, we are keenly familiar with the expectations and needs of travelers to Thailand. For both business and leisure travelers, alcohol plays a central role in the enjoyment of their visits. It also makes a significant contribution in sales to restaurants and hotels, thus boosting the earnings of Thai businesses and the millions of staff that they employ.

Bill Heinecke’s open letter to the Governor of Bangkok to lift alcohol ban for tourists by Nov 1. 2021.

I recognize that public officials may have concerns about the impact of alcohol sales on COVID transmission rates. However, a distinction should be made in the condition and environments in which alcohol is present. Those who consume alcohol in proper restaurant and hotel settings typically do so responsibly. Such environments rarely exhibit the crowded conditions within bars, pubs, clubs, etc.

To that end, I humbly request that restrictions on alcohol sales in Bangkok be lifted by November 1, if not entirely, then selectively to establishments that serve the needs of foreign tourists to Thailand. At the very least, businesses that are approved by the Safety and Health Administration (SHA+) should be allowed to resume serving customers with the complete suite of services that patrons expect from November 1st onwards.

I also believe that steps should be taken to safeguard a prime tourism destination such as Bangkok, Phuket and Samui from further COVID transmission. The primary means must be via redoubling efforts in vaccination all who reside within the greater vicinity of Bangkok. Likewise, it would be prudent to require negative PCR/ATK test results from all travelers entering Bangkok or any major tourist destinations from other cities in Thailand. Compulsory testing will reassure foreign and local tourists that proper COVID prevention measures are in place for their health and safety and ensure maximum protection for unvaccinated Thai residents.

We in the business community are eager to join with public officials such as yourself to revive Bangkok’s economic vibrancy. I thank you in advance for your consideration on this matter. Should you have any other questions or concerns, I would look forward to the opportunity to discuss them with you in greater detail.