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Open Sesame! Thai government to review operating hours

PHOTO: Flickr/Eustaquio Santimano

Not that closing hours have been rigidly enforced much in the past BUT the new government say they are going to review them anyway. Which is code for “making closing times later”.

The Thai PM says his administration will review the operating hours of nightlife venues in the kingdom, with a view to extending the closing times. Nation Thailand reports that Srettha Thavisin says an extension to the operating hours of bars, clubs and karaoke venues could help boost tourism and stimulate the local economy.

The PM was speaking at the “Thailand Economic Outlook 2024” event, hosted in Bangkok by the Krungthep Turakij newspaper. The PM says Thailand is under-performing in the promotion of its tourist attractions and in organising world-class events, despite having a number of advantages.

He went on to acknowledge that the current closing time for nightlife venues may need to be reviewed. Acknowledging that many people don’t go out before 10 or 11pm, Srettha says having venues close shortly after that time is not working, pointing out that many venues will simply ignore the law (or allegedly pay the local constabulary to ignore their doors remaining open).

“Furthermore, we are still kidding ourselves that all rules and regulations are followed.”

But the PM acknowledged that opening 24 hours a day is not the answer either and a happy medium is required.

“On the other hand, allowing entertainment venues to open 24 hours could cause social and security problems. Therefore, we need to reconsider if the current closing hour of 1am is enough to make Thailand competitive compared to other cities in order to become the tourism hub of the region.”

The law in Thailand stipulates that nightlife venues can remain open until 1am or 2am, depending on the nature of the business and various city zoning regulations. A proposal to extend these operating hours to 4am was discussed time and again by the previous administration, but never went anywhere.

The PM went on to say that, in addition to a possible extension of operating hours, his government is also working on a number of other incentives to boost tourism to the kingdom.

“The free visa (for Chinese tourists) policy is a start, and the government still has more measures to boost the tourism industry and make Thailand a tourism hub and desired destination among foreign visitors.”

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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