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Airports approved to sell alcohol on Buddhist days

Airports approved to sell alcohol on Buddhist days

All six main international airports in Thailand, including Suvarnabhumi and Phuket, will be permitted to sell alcoholic beverages on five major Buddhist holy days to boost spending by travelers and promote tourism.

The Alcoholic Beverage Control Committee decided on Thursday to allow all airports under Airports of Thailand Plc (AoT) to sell alcoholic drinks on Asarnha Bucha, Visakha Bucha, Makha Bucha, Buddhist Lent, and the end of Buddhist Lent days.

AoT operates Suvarnabhumi, Don Mueang, Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Phuket, and Hat Yai airports.

Normally, alcohol sales are banned across the country on these Buddhist holy days.

Deputy Prime Minister Suriya Jungrungreangkit, who chaired the meeting, said lifting the ban would generate more revenue from tourism. However, he did not specify when the new decision will take effect, as it still requires the amendment of the Prime Minister’s Office announcement on the matter.

The meeting also halted a proposal by the State Railway of Thailand (SRT) to reconsider selling alcoholic beverages, including beer, at stations and on trains.

Policymakers instructed the railway agency and the committee to study the plan further, considering economic and public health benefits.

The SRT has not allowed alcohol sales at train stations or on board since 2015. The ban was implemented after a former employee drank beer on a train and later sexually assaulted a 13-year-old passenger before throwing her out of the train window in July 2014.

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