The Thai government will initially permit bars and nightclubs in four provinces, including Chonburi, Phuket, Chiang Mai, and Bangkok, to operate until 4 AM, as announced by Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin on Friday, November 3rd.
The revelation came after PM Srettha met with Anutin Charnvirakul, the Minister of the Interior, along with the governors of the four aforementioned provinces yesterday to discuss stretching the nighttime service hours to 4 AM.
According to Srettha, the meeting reached a unanimous decision to extend the operating hours in four pilot provinces, namely Bangkok, Chonburi, Phuket, and Chiang Mai, which Srettha said are important tourist destinations.
This extension will permit nighttime services to operate until 4:00 AM, starting on December 15th, 2023, as an economic stimulus. However, the Prime Minister emphasized that it will initially be introduced as a ‘temporary measure’ to assess its pros and cons. A thorough study will be conducted later for future considerations, he added.
In response to inquiries about whether the extension will cover the entire province or specific areas, Srettha clarified that it will specifically target certain areas, such as the legal entertainment zones. He mentioned that the Ministry of Interior will soon announce the designated zones that will benefit from this extension by December 15th.
Srettha went on to say that the extension was not specifically aimed at promoting alcohol consumption, but it was intended to encourage foreign tourists, who usually don’t dine out until 9 or 10 PM, to spend more eating out.
Regrading concerns about the rise in accidents, drug abuse, or social issues, Srettha assured that the Royal Thai Police is prepared to address these challenges. Measures such as increased CCTV installations and venue inspections will be implemented.
Meanwhile, Pattaya tourism and nightlife business owners debated zones and closing times earlier this week with local officials and police.