Govt Could Extend Entertainment Venues’ Opening Hours Until 4 Am

The Tourism and Sports Ministry revealed its plans to extend entertainment venues’ opening hours until 4:00 a.m., hoping to reinvigorate tourism sentiment before the upcoming peak season.

According to Tourism and Sports Minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn, the extended hours will apply to entertainment venues in tourism-driven economic zones to avoid creating discontent among local communities.

Mr. Phiphat said that the ministry had ordered each provincial governor to study the agenda’s economic and social impacts, as well as the need to extend operating hours.

However, not all provinces could benefit from the plan, as the government will only focus on areas that attract international tourists, such as Khao San Road, a popular hub among foreign travelers, he added.

Some areas in Phuket, like Soi Bangla, could also see extended opening hours, as they are famous among foreign tourists for their nightlife.

However, Thailand has to work hard to attract 1.5 million tourists from October to December, a 50% increase from the current rate of 1 million tourists a month, the minister added.

Mr. Phiphat said the plan would be proposed at the Center for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) meeting in September after the 2022 Apec Tourism Ministers Meeting takes place.

The meeting is set to be held from August 14 to 20 and will include tourism ministers in 21 countries and economic zones. It is organized to highlight tourism’s sustainable recovery under the “Regenerative Tourism” concept.

The ministry also expects to conduct an academic seminar and familiarization trips to Talad Not in Charoen Krung and Sampran district in Nakhon Pathom to highlight the bio-circular-green (BCG) economic model.

Tourism’s effects on the environment, culture, and folklore are given top priority in sustainable recovery, which also proposes methods to balance supply and demand in each category. According to Mr. Phiphat, Thailand will debut its first low-carbon travel options in 2023.

The Prince of Songkla University is already assessing the plan’s feasibility, expecting to include Khao Lak and Koh Kho Khao in Phangnga as pilot projects.