Opening hours for entertainment venues to be revised
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Opening hours for entertainment venues to be revised

Ministry to seek 4am closing time

Bustling scenes return to Sukhumvit Soi Nana in Bangkok. (Photo: Arnun Chonmahatrakool)
Bustling scenes return to Sukhumvit Soi Nana in Bangkok. (Photo: Arnun Chonmahatrakool)

The Tourism and Sports Minister is planning to propose new opening hours for entertainment venues, allowing them to open until 4am to revitalise tourism sentiment during the upcoming high season.

Tourism and Sports Minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn said the extended hours will be designated to tourism-driven economic zones to avoid creating discontent among local communities.

"We already asked each provincial governor to study the economic and social impacts as well as the necessity of extending operational hours," said Mr Phiphat.

He said not every area in a province would be allowed to follow this as the government would only concentrate on areas which mainly focus on international tourists.

For instance, Thong Lor and Ekamai in Bangkok might not be included as these areas are better known among local partygoers, but Khao San Road might be able to take part as it is a well-known centre for foreign travellers.

In Phuket, certain areas, such as Soi Bangla which is already famous for its nightlife, might be allowed to benefit from the extended opening hours.

Mr Phiphat said Thailand still has to work hard to bring in 1.5 million tourists per month from October to December, which would be a 50% increase from the current rate of 1 million tourists per month.

He said it will propose this agenda to the meeting of the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) in September once the Apec Tourism Ministers Meeting 2022, which runs from Aug 14-20, has concluded.

Mr Phiphat said the Apec Tourism Ministers Meeting will be organised under a concept called "Regenerative Tourism" which highlights sustainable recovery of tourism.

The meeting will include tourism ministers from 21 countries and economic zones, with at least 300 participants.

Besides the ministerial meeting, the Tourism Ministry will also hold an academic seminar and familiarisation trips to Talad Not in Charoen Krung and Sampran district in Nakhon Pathom to showcase the bio-circular-green (BCG) economic model.

Sustainable recovery prioritises the impact of tourism on the environment, culture and folk wisdom and identifies methodologies to balance demand and supply in each of the areas.

Mr Phiphat said next year Thailand will introduce low carbon destinations for the first time.

Khao Lak and Koh Kho Khao in Phangnga are set to be a pilot project as the Prince of Songkla University is conducting a feasibility study of the project.

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