Cabinet set to consider 4am closing for entertainment venues in Thailand

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Bangla Road, Phuket. File photo

Thailand’s Cabinet looks set to consider whether entertainment venues in Thailand should be permitted to stay open until 4am.

Speaking on Saturday (Oct 23) Tourism and Sports Minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn said the Cabinet will be asked to consider allowing entertainment venues in certain tourism areas to stay open an additional three hours.

Mr Phiphat said that three studies carried out by the Tourism and Sports Ministry found that bars, pubs and clubs would increase their income by an average of 40 percent if they were allowed to open until 4am.

Mr Phiphat said that the issue should go to a public referendum to decide whether or not nightspots should be allowed to open until 4am.

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It would also need to be decided where the late opening of bars and clubs would be allowed.

When the 4am closing was first mooted back in August, Hua Hin as a destination for tourism, was touted as a potential location for the extended opening hours.

However, more recent reports in Thai language media suggest that Phuket’s Bangla Road will be the pilot location for the 4am opening.

Other tourism areas also be considered include Khaosan Road and Patpong Road in Bangkok and Bali Hai Pier and Walking Street in Pattaya.

In addition, Koh Samui, Koh Phangan, Khao Lak in Phang Nga and Ao Nang in Krabi are other possible locations set to be included in the project.

Officials say the change in opening hours would help the tourism industry in Thailand generate a considerable amount of additional revenue.

Officials said that in Phuket, most foreign tourists visit Bangla Road at approximately 11pm, with bars closing at 1am.

If bars can stay open until 4am, an extra 70 million baht per day could be generated for Bangla Road and the surrounding, with other outlets such as shops, taxis and food outlets also benefiting.

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