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Late nights on the way back or not

''However, a public referendum will have to be held to decide where nightlife outlets will be allowed to operate until that time,'' he said.

The Tourism and Sports Ministry will ask the cabinet to consider allowing nightspots in certain tourism spots to stay open until 4am as the Covid-19 pandemic eases along with many virus curbs.

Tourism and Sports Minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn said on Saturday studies found that if nightspots are allowed to operate until 4am, their income would increase by 40%.

”However, a public referendum will have to be held to decide where nightlife outlets will be allowed to operate until that time,” he said.

Mr Phiphat said that after the virus was downgraded from a dangerous communicable disease to a communicable disease under surveillance from Oct 1, the ministry is moving ahead with plans to develop tourist destinations in four clusters of provinces, by highlighting unique local cultures, traditions and histories to promote tourism.

For example, a study is being conducted to promote low-carbon tourism in Phangnga, part of the Andaman cluster.

As for Phuket, a plan will be devised to develop state land in tambon Mai Khao of Thalang district into a yacht club, a sports complex and a convention hall, which will be linked with a project to promote wellness tourism in the province, Mr Phiphat said, adding the private sector will be urged to invest.

Activities will be held seasonally to attract tourists and boost income for local people, the minister said.

In 2019 before the pandemic struck, over 39.8 million tourists came to Thailand, generating more than 3 trillion baht.

During the pandemic, tourism was one of the industries hardest hit and the ministry worked closely with various agencies to ease the impact by launching the Phuket Sandbox scheme in July last year, Mr Phiphat said.

He added the MotoGP 2022 World Championship was held in Buri Ram between Sept 30 and Oct 2, pulling in foreign visitors and spectators which gave the local economy a boost.

In the longer run, the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is devising a campaign to woo international visitors to future MotoGP events.

Meanwhile, Deputy Prime Minister and Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul said Thailand has handed over a total of 100,000 doses of Pfizer vaccine for children aged 5-11 as well as vaccination equipment worth 50 million baht to Myanmar as part of public health cooperation in Asean.

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