Patong Entertainment Business Association (PEBA) President Weerawit Kreuasombat along with Preechavude “Prab” Keesin, head of the Pisona Group of companies, presented the request in person.
The request asked the committee for the government to provide free water and electricity to suffering business owners to help alleviate basic operating costs, to assist with negotiations with landlords to provide rent relief and for the government to provide SME loans for stricken businesses in Patong.
The request also is to ask to extend the nightly closing time from midnight to 4am, and for the government to help provide equipment necessary for small Patong businesses to check for possible COVID-19 infection among their customers.
All nightlife venues currently must close at midnight.
The letter specifically requested that the government provide assistance with the following:
- Assist negotiations for land rents, so that land rents are mainly based on the impact on people, not just abiding by the contract.
- Suspend or exempt electricity and water fees for the first three months of reopening.
- Exempt taxes for businesses that operate entertainment venues.
- Provide more assistance to entertainment venue staffers affected by the economic crisis.
- Extend the closing time for entertainment venues to 4am.
- Promote Patong as a “Mice Tourism City and Sport Tourism City” to attract tourists throughout the whole year.
- Set up a fund for economic development for SMEs (small- to medium-sized enterprises) in Patong.
- Install body temperature scanners at the entrances and exits of entertainment venues in order to boost tourists’ confidence in visiting the venues in Patong.
“The request presentation to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Tourism was held at 1pm yesterday. It went very well,” Mr Weerawit told The Phuket News today (July 2).
“Phuket MP Nattee Thinsakhu was also there for the presentation. He also formally received this same request, and he promised that he would push this request to be handled quickly by the government,” Mr Weerawit said.
"We met with Sereepisuth Temeeyaves, leader of the opposition Seri Ruam Thai Party, and he also promised that he would support to push this request too,” he added.
"I will follow up with them next week,” Mr Weerawit said.
Meanwhile, Mr Weerawit today confirmed that he had still yet to see a full list of the health rules that all entertainment venues are to enforce in order to remain open.
However, he added that in recent days that has not been the focus of his attention.
“Yesterday, I focused only on the request, not the health rules. We [PEBA] still have not been involved in any discussions about the new rules, and I have not yet seen any official order for which rules must be applied,” Mr Weerawit said.