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Tourism Minister on Bangla receives huge support over 4am closing

Tourism Minister on Bangla receives huge support over 4am closing

PHUKET: Minister of Tourism and Sports Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn visited Bangla Rd, Patong, last night (Sept 8), to be greeted by overwhelming support for extending the closing time for nightlife venues to 4am.

tourismpatong
By Eakkapop Thongtub

Friday 9 September 2022, 04:56PM


Mr Phiphat’s visit was one of many stops on his inspection tour of nightlife areas popular with foreign tourists. He has already visited Khao San Rd in Bangkok as well as Koh Samui and Koh Pha-ngan.

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,” he said.

“The results of the studies will be presented to the CCSA and the Prime Minister, and to the Ministry of Public Health and the Ministry of Interior, to discuss changes to the law so special zones can be set up in each tourist province,” Mr Phiphat said.

During his visits to popular nightlife areas, he has found strong support for extending the closing time, he added.

“More than 60-70% of foreigners agree that we should open such areas as special zones,” he said.

Business operators also agreed, with a positive effect on the economy, he noted.

“By staying open two hours later, there will be an increase in economic effect, or value, by 23-24%,” he added.

His visit to Bangla Rd last night was no different.

Mr Phiphat said he had spoken with many tourists ‒  mostly from India, the Middle East, Africa, Egypt, Australia and Malaysia ‒ and 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.

“But this is not only in Phuket, but also Khao San Rd, Koh Pha-ngan and Samui ‒ they all have the same problem,” Mr Phiphat added.

Mr Phiphat pointed out that he will visit the popular Walking Street in Pattaya before the end of the month. “We will go to survey, discuss and ask tourists there,” he said.

Mr Phiphat highlighted the possibility of different closing times being allowed at different popular tourist areas. “It depends on the tourists who visit in each place. It may not be the same for other provinces,” he said.

“Each location must also hold a public hearing first to see if the local residents in that area agree or not. If you don’t agree, we won’t support it,” he said.

Mr Phiphat called on nightlife business owners to make sure the safety of their patrons is made a top priority.

“When opening late at night, safety must be taken care of, especially of tourists. Along Bangla Rd each venue has their own security staff. One establishment may have two to three security guards [sic] when the whole venue employs nearly 200 people,” he said.

“We have police volunteers, Tourist Police and Provincial Police to support the safety of tourists, but when tourists are concentrated in one area, the security guards might not be enough,” he said.

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Capricornball | 10 September 2022 - 18:28:50

Good that Thailand finally faces the reality that most people come here to  drink and party and run the ladies (or ladyboys). And Christy, not all of us expats are married to tattooed bar chicks/prostitutes. We prefer simple upper-middle aged women that weather time better than women in our home countries.

Capricornball | 10 September 2022 - 18:25:05

Sounds like ohmarion finally pried his lazy arse off the barstool to defend his sexpat cronies. I couldn't care less when they close, as it doesn't affect me one bit. By the way, I'm not a "grumpy old man"...I'm happy as a clam and keep myself busier than ever with fun stuff. You sound like one of the pathetic sexpats spending your retirement years drinking, smoking and w...

christysweet | 10 September 2022 - 10:00:17

Keep them open 24/7 and keep the drunks off the road.  Aren't most 'sexpats' by definition already married to Thai partners? 

Kurt | 09 September 2022 - 21:01:30

...no more brown envelopes to drain out venues in special zones, when illegal open after 2am becomes legal. Just more night work. Poor boys.

Kurt | 09 September 2022 - 19:41:08

When this 4 am closing time becomes a fact in 'special zones', than a lot of extra police manpower is needed. Not just till 4am, but till much later, till home going tourist flows are over. Hopefully without to many accidents on the road, such will need more early rising RTP Captains & Colonels. Black moments for TTP coming, no more brown envelopes to drain out of the Special Zones, bu...

megamind | 09 September 2022 - 19:21:38

ah ah ah the land of hypocrites: what a genius!!!

omarion | 09 September 2022 - 18:43:39

@capricornball and who doesn’t approve? A bunch of grumpy old men who have nothing better to do, besides sit at their guesthouses and comment their hateful and xenophobic views on this website every single day? Phuket is a tourist destination. People come here to party. Even since long before Covid bars closed at 5-6 am. If this bothers you, you should go back to where you came from. 

Capricornball | 09 September 2022 - 17:41:14

What a joke, and big surprise (not). So, research shows that nearly all sexpats, party animals, alcoholics, prostitutes, pimps, bar owners, Prab cronies, etc. all approve longer hours. Well then, what are they waiting for? I'm sure the police and other emergency responders will all be instructed to downplay the increase in accidents and road fatalities. Anything to keep the vice flowing.

 

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