Pattaya Nightlife Sees Boom After Extended Operating Hours, Bars Want Entertainment Zones Expanded

Pattaya —

The Pattaya Entertainment Industry Association highly praised the Thai government’s policy of extending entertainment opening hours until 4 AM, citing its positive impact on the local economy, and urging further expansion of legal entertainment zones.

The extended hours, officially implemented on December 15th, 2023, as part of a pilot program in five provinces, have garnered positive feedback from a large number of Pattaya business owners. According to Mr. Damrongkiat Phinijkarn, secretary-general of the Pattaya Entertainment Industry Association, most entertainment businesses reported a significant increase in daily income, ranging from 20-30%, since the longer hours were implemented.

This success translates to benefits for employees as well. Mr. Damrongkiat revealed that service staff and waiters are seeing their daily earnings increase by 300-500 baht, translating to roughly 9,000-15,000 baht per month. This extra income has reduced their reliance on the government’s assistance programs and greatly improved the financial well-being of their families, Mr. Damrongkiat stated.

“This policy is a game-changer for our nightlife community and the local economy as a whole,” said Mr. Damrongkiat. “We express our sincere gratitude to the government for listening to our pleas and implementing these measures.”

However, the association also urges the government to consider expanding legal entertainment zones in Pattaya. They believe the current Entertainment Places Act, which has been in place for 21 years, is hindering the city’s development and limiting its potential.

In response to public concerns surrounding the zone expansion, Mr. Damrongkiat stated that balancing the needs of entertainment venues with local residents with the concerns is crucial. He emphasized that operators must manage noise carefully to ensure minimal disruption to residents and non-nightlife tourists seeking a peaceful experience.

Proposed areas for expansion of legal nightlife and entertainment zones are parts of Jomtien, especially around the popular gay nightlife area at Jomtien Complex and Soi 7 area, parts of Naklua around the Space Hotel, Third Road to Sukhumvit, and perhaps even parts of Eastern Pattaya.

There are, in reality, over a thousand bars and nightlife venues in these areas already, but they are technically in violation of the law if they are not also restaurants. Additionally, they are not supposed to be providing entertainment besides alcohol or staying open late. This is not often enforced, and would be fully legal were the zones to be updated to Pattaya’s growth.

A recent unscientific poll conducted by the Pattaya News showed that the majority of our readers, 46 percent of those polled, supported the legal expansion of entertainment zones. 20 percent of those polled supported it in some areas but not residential zones. 8 percent supported it for small bars and sports bars but not live music venues or clubs. Nineteen percent entirely opposed any expansion of the zones. The remainder of those polled did not care or were not sure.

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Aim Tanakorn
The local news translator at The Pattaya News. Aim is a twenty-four year old who currently lives in Bangkok. Interested in English translation, story-telling, and entrepreneurship, he believes that hard-working is an indispensable component of every success in this world.