Khao San Road Nighttime Venues Might Open Until 4:00

Night entertainment venues on Khao San Road may be allowed to open until 4:00 a.m. if the government and local businesses reach an agreement to strengthen tourism before the upcoming high season.

According to tourism and sports minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn, the ministry held talks on the matter with the Khao San Road Business Association on Wednesday. Officials and local operators hope to meet again in more public hearings with nearby communities before definitively extending the operating hours for nighttime venues from 2:00 to 4:00 a.m.

Mr. Phiphat said he was considering submitting the proposal to the Center for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) this month or in September.

Khao San Road is the only destination in Bangkok considered to have extended opening hours so far.

Each tourist province is expected to have one or a few spots with longer operating hours. Other potential areas are Patong in Phuket, Ao Nang in Krabi and Khao Lak in Phangnga.

Chiang Mai and Pattaya have yet to select their possible options. However, public hearings with local communities must be held before deciding whether or not an area should be included.

In Samui, tour operators have asked authorities to allow the entire island to open for extended hours. However, Mr. Phiphat said that the proposal should be considered carefully.

The Tourism and Sports Ministry expects the new opening hours to take effect from October, creating a positive environment for the upcoming high season now that the flow of international arrivals has strengthened, reaching four million this year.

Thailand has seen an increase in international arrivals in 2022. As of August 16, the kingdom had received 4.01 million tourists. Malaysia, India, Laos, Singapore, and the United Kingdom are the main source markets.

According to Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) Governor Yuthasak Supasorn, August growth was as steady as forecast. The figures are expected to reach 10 million international tourists and 160 million domestic trips this year.

Meanwhile, to help support tourism, the government is taking different measures, such as extending late-night business operating hours and allocating budgets to support bus tour programs.