The request was sent yesterday (Feb 15), Governor Chockchai said.
“I sent a formal request asking both the Prime Minister and the Ministry of Interior to consider changing the law to be more appropriate for businesses and entertainment venues on Bangla Rd,” Gov Chockchai said.
The move follows a crackdown earlier this month that saw scores of revellers in Phuket’s party town kicked out onto the tourist-flooded streets one night (see story here), and then bars and nightclubs deserted the next (see story here).
The raids enforced the current law that bars must close at midnight and nightclubs must close at 1am. These closing times are for venues inside Patong’s “entertainment zone”, which comprises Bangla Rd and extends 50 metres on either side thereof – venues elsewhere, depending on their entertainment license, are supposed to close earlier.
To this, Gov Chockchai admitted he knew the problem had been a long time coming.
“In the three months since I arrived on here in Phuket, I have learned that his problem had grown worse over many years,” he said.
Explaining the requested closing of 4am, Gov Chockchai explained, “I chose that time because we know that tourists in Patong get up late in the morning and like to stay out at night”
“If the law can be changed to suit of businesses in Patong, then these businesses will be available to provide much better, and more, services to visitors – and the gain in revenue to Thailand can be enormous,” Gov Chockchai added.
Calls by The Phuket News to the Ministry of Interior main office in Bangkok to confirm the request had been received went unanswered.
To vote in the online poll by The Phuket News asking, “Should Patong night venues stay open later?” click here.