Business operators in Pattaya are planning to rally this afternoon (December 3rd) at Pattaya Walking Street, pushing to let the Chonburi government allow alcohol sales in at the very least restaurants and hotels.
The rally is expected to bring together prominent business owners from many sectors, including hotels, bars, nightlife, entertainment, restaurants, hospitality, retail, tourism, and nearly every business and tourism sector in the city as a unified front to request the city drop an alcohol sales ban currently in effect at all hospitality venues since roughly April of this year. The owners are coming together to drive the message that the alcohol ban doesn’t just hurt bars but is causing a “domino” effect driving away tourists from Pattaya to other areas that don’t have the ban and hurting every business sector, even those that don’t sell alcohol, as Pattaya is normally seen as a “magnet” for entertainment and nightlife.
According to the rally organizers, they want an exemption to Pattaya to be granted as a “Blue Zone” (Business, Leisure, Ultimate Experience) as in Phuket, Bangkok, Samui, and many others that lifts the alcohol ban at restaurants and hotels, with rules. Many also want special exception zones like Khaosan Road in Bangkok or Bangla Road in Phuket, allowing bars or entertainment businesses to obtain a Thai STOP Covid certificate and temporarily open as a “restaurant” until the government legally allows bars and nightlife to reopen nationwide, which is unlikely to happen until next year.
Mr. Tanet Suphonsahasarangsri from the Chonburi Tourism Industries Council told TPN media, “Blue zone districts in Chonburi (Pattaya, Sattahip, Koh Larn, parts of Si Racha) are still not allowed alcohol sales despite high vaccination levels and the ability to adhere to all Covid-19 rules and restrictions, just like Bangkok or Phuket. However, the Center for Covid-19 Situation Administration, or CCSA, has reportedly agreed to let the Chonburi governor and communicable disease committee allow relaxation of the alcohol ban but the Chonburi government has repeatedly said no to alcohol sales without giving a logical, sensible reason to business owners and tourism associations.”
“Today, (December 3rd), business operators are going to gather at the Pattaya Walking Street in the afternoon to show that we really need the Chonburi government to help us. If they are unable to lift the alcohol ban, we simply want to understand the reason, when less than an hour and a half away Bangkok is allowed to sell. If they have a logical reason related to Covid-19 that explains why we say shut when many other places are open please share it. We would also welcome financial support for sectors directly affected by the ban, in place since April of this year, shutting hundreds of businesses and putting tens of thousands of people, many the main financial provider for their family, out of work.”
Mr. Sinchai Wattanasart, the Vice President of the Pattaya Business and Tourism Association told TPN media, “We have informed the secretary of the Office of the National Security Council about how much we have suffered. We have been informed the Chonburi Governor will allow alcohol sales sooner than it is being scheduled but are still planning to come together today to show that we are all on the same page, even though many of the owners and associations present may have different responsibilities or goals and come from many different types of businesses. This ban goes far beyond just drinking alcohol and is directly affecting the livelihoods of thousands of Pattaya residents.”
Pattaya entertainment and tourism operators have vowed to keep pushing to allow alcohol sales in restaurants, hotels, and allowing the legal reopening of venues, even after Chonburi’s communicable disease committee declined to ease the alcohol rules when they released their most recent orders around Covid-19 restrictions last night, December 1st.
The Chonburi Governor has released new orders through their Public Relations Facebook page on December 1st detailing the easing of Covid-19 restrictions. Alcohol sales at all premises on-site like bars, restaurants, hotels, nightlife, pubs, remain banned.