The Thai government is working to identify pilot locations for a trial of late-night closing for the country’s nightlife. Interior Minister Anutin Charnvirakul says his office is liaising with related parties to find locations where entertainment venues would be allowed to remain open until 4 am.
Phuket’s Patong beach will certainly be included in these trials.
The initiative is part of a new regulation introduced by PM Srettha Thavisin, to extend the official 2 am closing time by two hours, to boost tourism and stimulate the economy with the late night revellers.
The Bangkok Post reports that Anutin has confirmed the chosen locations will be made public once the police and business operators have the required safety protocols and operating procedures in place.
Anutin goes on to say that in order to ensure the safety of tourists, venues must cooperate with the police and screen their customers appropriately.
The new national police chief, Torsak Sukvimol, says the police are willing to facilitate the new closing time, although they do not yet have all the details. He adds that even with extended hours, all entertainment venues, whether in the pilot locations or not, must adhere to the law.
Meanwhile, the Khao San Road Business Association has welcomed the extension to opening hours. President Sanga Ruangwattanakul says his association will meet next week ahead of submitting an open letter to the PM, calling for restrictions on alcohol sales hours to be abolished.
The association is also seeking a reduction in the rate of excise tax paid by business owners, from 10% to 3%. Members point out that as excise tax is also collected from manufacturers, the current system amounts to double taxation.
SOURCE: Bangkok Post