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Phuket Poll: Should Patong get 4am closing?

Phuket Poll: Should Patong get 4am closing?

PHUKET: Minister of Tourism and Sports Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn during his visit to Bangla Rd in Patong last Thursday night (Sept 8) called on the media to conduct their own polls to determine whether people in their own communities agree with extending the closing time of nightlife venues in ‘special zones’ from 2am to 4am.

tourismeconomicsopinion
By The Phuket News

Monday 12 September 2022, 12:49PM


Tourism Minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn visits Bangla Rd in Patong last Thursday night (Sept 8). Photo: Eakkapop Thongtub

Tourism Minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn visits Bangla Rd in Patong last Thursday night (Sept 8). Photo: Eakkapop Thongtub

Mr Phiphat explained last Thursday that the request for local polls to be conducted was in order for more public opinion on the issue to be assessed before he presents his proposal to the CCSA, the Prime Minister, the Ministry of Public Health and the Ministry of Interior.

Research conducted by Suan Sunandha Rajabhat University, Phuket Rajabhat University and the NIDA Institute had confirmed strong support to extend nightlife trading hours, Mr Phiphat said.

“The results of the research conducted by all three institutions were the same. People, including tourists, will spend the most from 1am to 3am. That is the peak period. After 3am the spending starts to slow,” Mr Phiphat noted.

Patong Entertainment Business Association (PEBA) President Weerawit Kreuasombat said that extending the closing time of nightlife venues in Patong by two hours, from 2am to 4am, could see revenues by Patong operators boosted by B100 million a month.

Mr Phiphat said he had spoken with many tourists, and that the response was “quite good”.

“More than 70% of tourists want to extend the hours of the nightlife establishments at night until 4am. They all agree to extend the closing time from 2am because it’s still a fun time,” he said.

Before his visit to Bangla Rd, Mr Phiphat had already visited Khao San Rd in Bangkok as well as Koh Samui and Koh Pha-ngan. He is to visit the Walking Street area in Pattaya before the end of this month.

Of note, Patong already has an entertainment zone which includes Bangla Rd. For years nightlife operators have petitioned the government to extend the zone, and to allow later closing times for venues within the zone only.

Thai Residential

Also of note, yet to be recognised by any official parties in this latest push for late closing for nightlife venues is that some venue operators pay officials to ‘facilitate’ late trading, and face no legal action for breaking the law.

Preechawude ‘Prab’ Keesin, head of the Pisona Group of companies in Patong, in 2017 said, “It’s no secret that some venue operators pay officials in order to be ignored and close later.”

In accordance with Mr Phiphat’s request, The Phuket News here asks readers, “Should Patong be allowed 4am closing?”

Responses available in the poll are:

  • Yes, it will stop ‘facilitation’ payments and many venues close later than 2am anyway.
  • Yes, but only for Bangla Rd as a ‘special zone’ within the existing entertainment zone.
  • No, the 2am closing time is late enough.
  • No opinion, people choosing to party late has no effect on me.

To vote in the poll, click HERE.

The poll is open to Thai nationals, expats and tourists.

If your preferred response is not presented in the poll, feel free to include it in the comments below.

The poll will close at midnight Friday night (Sept 16).

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JohnC | 14 September 2022 - 08:54:02

It's no secret K. Prab was one of the main instigators of paying "backhanders" to keep his venues open later than legal trading times.

SEC2 | 13 September 2022 - 12:29:42

Interesting.   Mr. Phiphat has had quite the tour of the bars, red light districts, walking streets and full moon parties.

I'm confused, don't the bars stay open on Bangla until 4am anyway?  I didn't know they paid attention to "rules".

christysweet | 13 September 2022 - 09:49:39

Yes  but make it island wide as  drunk drivers will be rushing to Patong when  more restricted bars close. Keep them all open 24 /7 to  keep drunks off the road. 

Kurt | 13 September 2022 - 09:44:12

How a Thai Minister travels all the way down to Phuket, to walk Bangla 'Red Light' Road .  In Thailand only.

Kurt | 13 September 2022 - 09:21:20

Do it 'good'.  Open up 24/7. But whatever the change will be, be sure other locations on Phuket will start pushing for the same. Oh, and when 'facilitation' payments stop many RTP officers will ask transfer, away from Patong. Who want to give in money and have to work longer hours, seeing how money flows not reach them anymore.  :-)

 

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