The Minister for Tourism and Sports says he’s making headway with plans to allow opening until 4am for ‘some’ tourist areas in Thailand. The proposals were mooted several months ago as a tonic for dropping tourist numbers in some of the traditional holiday ‘hot spots’.
Sports and tourism minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn says that details were still being discussed but the plan is now to have a pilot scheme in Bangkok’s Khao San Road and parts of Pattaya to allow 4 am opening.
The current closing time is 2am though the times are often ‘flexible’ in places like Pattaya’s Walking Street, Phuket’s Bangla Road and Soi Cowboy in Bangkok. Long term ‘arrangements’ with officials have left many of the larger bars and nightclubs open until well past 4am.
Phiphat says that state and other agencies need to be consulted before the move is confirmed. The Minister has rushed to suggest other changes to current rules, including the waiver of visas for Chinese and Indian tourists – a proposal that was shot down at the following Cabinet meeting.
In the case of the extended closing times, Phiphat claimed, without evidence, that the later closing time would boost tourist spending by 25%. But his proposal to extend the closing times hasn’t been universally supported.
Thai Nation News