The Pattaya Entertainment Operators Association admitted yesterday they are willing to cooperate IF entertainment venues have to be closed to prevent the spread of the COVID – 19 Coronavirus… even if they have to deal with many problems..
Mr. Damrongkiet Pinitkarn, secretary of the association, told The Pattaya News yesterday “If the government ordered us to close entertainment venues, We are willing to cooperate. “
“After the news about people infected from the virus at night clubs and a party in Bangkok, not many people are going out for nightlife as it is already. The past several nights we have seen substantially reduced traffic on Walking Street.” He added.
“We have already become affected from this situation already. Staffers are also worried about the virus spread and usage of masks and sanitizers have increased.” He continued.
“Some of the entertainment venues in Bangkok are temporarily closed now, however, nearly everything in Pattaya currently remains open.” He said.
“However, we believe all entertainment venues in Thailand should be closed if we (Pattaya) are forced to close. We also believe a selected close of venues would not work as people who could not go to the largest venues would just go to what is still open, filling it with more people.” He further added.
“We have already taken significant action since the virus spread. Many entertainment venues are being cleaned daily and sanitized top to bottom. Many venues are checking customers for signs of sickness before entering. There have been no cases of the virus in Pattaya and most of the current customers are expats or locals as few tourists remain.” He finished.
Other issues addressed were the tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands that would be out of work if the shutdown took place and the concern that many would return to their home provinces possibly infecting the vulnerable elderly population there. It was also noted that the majority of the workers in Pattaya are transient and from the Northeast and the primary earners for their families. If the industry shuts, hundreds of thousands of families in the Northeast would likely be affected.
Entertainment operators also stated that they hoped the government would step in and ensure they helped the industry in this situation. In Pattaya, the tourism and entertainment industry accounts for about eighty percent of the overall economy as one of the largest nightlife spots in the world.
It was hoped that landlords would be instructed by the government to be lenient during the shutdown period and not let hundreds of businesseses shut down by forcing payments of rent, mortgages, etc.
The Prime Minister of Thailand has said yesterday that for the time being he was not enforcing a shutdown of the countries massive nightlife industry, although that could change at any time.