In reaction to Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin’s order to boost the economy, Minister of the Interior Anutin Charnvirakul recently asked relevant officials to find areas where entertainment venues could stay open until 1 AM.
Entertainment zones already have later closing times, but this plan would let places outside of these zones, like in East Pattaya or Jomtien, stay open until 1 AM.
There are also plans to make the entertainment zones bigger, especially in the Jomtien area. Pattaya’s nightlife zones haven’t changed since 2002, but the city has changed a lot since then. There are now hundreds of bars outside of Central Pattaya, for example. Unfortunately, because “restaurants” are legal but entertainment establishments are not, many of them have to behave like restaurants.
As a whole, the news seemed to be good for people who run nightlife venues in Pattaya, as the prime minister said that the extension is mostly for famous tourist spots like Pattaya and Phuket.
But Mr. Damrongkierati said that from a personal point of view, he wished the government would completely get rid of the rule and let entertainment businesses run 24/7, like they do in Spain.
Still, Mr. Damrongkierati emphasized how crucial it is that these services be subject to strict regulations. Such rules are needed to keep communities from being hurt and to make sure that customers are safe. Mr. Damrongkierati said that these rules should also cover things like driving while drunk and dealing with noise levels.
Mr. Damrongkierati suggested that if the government wants to keep businesses open later than 1 AM in the future, they should try it out in Pattaya by staying open until 4 AM to see how things go.
But Prime Minister Srettha said that letting businesses work 24/7 might not be the best answer. He said that it would be better to stretch the current hours of operation and carefully look at the entertainment zones. He also said that this would help stop officials from being corrupt.
The Secretary of the Pattaya Entertainment and tourists Industry Association, Mr. Damrongkierati Phinijkarn, told The Pattaya News on October 5 that the policy was a good sign for tourists in the city.
The change from midnight to 1 AM will help business owners, workers, and even street vendors who sell goods in the area.
The head of the Pattaya Night-Business Entrepreneurs Association, Mrs. Lamphueng “Lisa” Hamilton, thanked the government, saying that the increase had been a goal of her group for a long time.
She thought that the current closing time for entertainment venues—midnight (or 2 AM, depending on where you are)—didn’t make sense. She said that foreign tourists usually don’t start their evenings until 10 or 11 PM, so closing venues soon after that isn’t a good business move.
Ms. Anisa, who is 39 years old, told The Pattaya News that closing at 1 a.m. is a good idea because not everyone gets off work at the same time. Ms. Anisa said that people who work late only have a few hours of free time, and the current closing times make it hard for them to go out at night.
Concerning possible effects, the customer thought there shouldn’t be too many because the police already have measures in place to keep tourists and people who live near entertainment areas safe and healthy.