Thai tourism and sports minister Pipat Ratchakitprakarn told a crisis meeting in Bangkok yesterday that he has proposed to the government once again that bars and entertainment venues stay open to 4 am, especially in tourist areas like Pattaya and Phuket.
He asked for support from the private industry for his ideas as he delivered a speech at the Amari Watergate hotel yesterday.
He said the 4 am opening would only apply to certain zones and surveys would need to be carried out.
The Pattaya News notes that this idea was brought up heavily last summer, including getting as far as being officially tested in Pattaya until a major drug raid which netted dozens of positive drug users at a late night Pattaya nightclub that primarily had Thai customers helped derail the process. That particular incident also assisted in costing the former Pattaya Police Chief his position.
We conducted surveys on the support for legal bar opening until 4:00 AM ourselves and the vast majority, nearly 70 percent, supported the idea. The opponents, however, brought up many good objections including additional accidents, noise pollution and criminal related issues.
It is worth noting that legal opening and closing times are not strictly enforced in parts of Pattaya to begin with, however, a uniform legal closing time would ensure that everyone is playing on the same even field. Currently, some areas may get told to close on time but others may not, depending on a variety of factors.
Most business owners surveyed support the legal closing times extension.