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Pattaya’s 24 hours alcohol sales still over the horizon

In order to increase tourism revenue in the post-covid era, the caretaker Thai Cabinet this week decided that the three provinces of the quickly growing Eastern Economic Corridor, which includes Pattaya, should allow bars and clubs to be open 24 hours a day. anyway, this is one of those “in principle” declarations, meaning that different parties still have the option to reverse course, postpone, or interpret the regulations anyway they see fit. The idea that the EEC business zone could support alcohol reform is unquestionably a breathlessly novel one. With a gin and tonic in your hand, it’s easiest to comprehend.

The decision would aid local businesses and promote the Pattaya tourism industry, according to the announcement made by Damrongkiat Phinitkan, secretary of the Pattaya entertainment and tourism organization. However, since 2010, when the then-Mayor of Pattaya, Itthipol Kunplome, led a drive to extend drinking hours till morning, his predecessors have essentially been saying the same thing.

It had no effect. With his own centerpiece plans to make the resort competitive in international tourism markets, recently elected Pattaya member of parliament for Move Forward, Jaras Kumkhainam, is thought to be largely responsible for the present campaign.Upon taking office, the Thai government will determine whether or not the present 24-hour Pattaya alcohol freedom proposal receives any more attention.

The hot potato will probably be passed to provincial committees and even public hearings because alcohol is not likely to be a top priority topic on the agenda. Thus, it is likely that we will hear the same old, tired conservative arguments about how we need to protect children, stop the rise in crime (including prostitution), and stop the increase of late-night traffic accidents. These discussions will undoubtedly win the literary yawn of the month awards.

Even if bars were open round-the-clock, it’s unlikely that many proprietors would seize the chance to go all out. An expansion of such magnitude has significant effects on rents, salaries, contracts, staffing levels, and a variety of unanticipated costs. Despite being permitted to operate 24/7 legally, almost all nightclubs in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap, Cambodia, close by 2 am or even sooner, according to a recent report. Simply put, there aren’t enough clients to keep the doors open. Alcohol liberalization may not be as effective as it once was because Pattaya’s foreign tourist profile is changing quickly and fewer wild bachelor boys are visiting from Europe, America, and Australia.

We’ll hear a lot more about controlled Happy Zones or Enjoyment Sandboxes later in the decision-making process, where longer alcohol hours will be permitted with a special permit. Imagine the uproar if Soi Buakhao was permitted to offer cocktails but Walking Street was not. What if gay-friendly areas like Boyztown and the Jomtien Complex aren’t included? In locations where people need to sleep, all-night revelry is not permitted, according to government spokespeople. Wishing you luck in solving the problem.

Of course, Pattaya has extensive experience with 24-hour openings. Except for Japan, Thailand has more “we never close” 7/11 convenience stores than any other nation. This excludes police, emergency services, and hospitals. Even if one or two aisles are cut off at four in the morning for cleaning, Foodland, one of the larger food halls, never closes. Furthermore, if you know where to look, Pattaya does have shebeens or illicit drinking establishments. The tawdry legislative limits that still force the retail sale of alcohol into fictitious hours between 11 am and 2 pm and 5 pm and midnight indicate that law reform in Thailand is long overdue. It won’t be simple to erase Thai booze’s past.


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