A poll has found just 41% of respondents agree with a proposal to let pubs and entertainment places stay open until 4am, and they are split on where the late hours should be allowed.
The results were obtained by the National Institute of Development Administration (Nida) in an opinion survey of 1,310 people from Dec 23 to 27.
The survey found that 26.3% said entertainment places should operate until 4am only in provinces popular among foreign tourists to promote tourism and help business operators affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Another 14.3% said there should be a uniform 4am closing time nationwide. It would increase the income of related business operators and taxi drivers, they said.
However, 48.6% say the existing 2am closing time is late enough. Some said operating hours should not be extended because there would be adverse impacts on residents living nearby.
However, 7.2% of respondents said entertainment places should close before 2am because pubs are already open too late and this leads to more crimes and accidents. Another 3.2% took an even harder line, saying entertainment venues should never operate at night because of the link to higher crime and accident rates and impact on local people.
Of all the respondents, 58.2% said they never visited an entertainment place.
The Tourism and Sports Ministry has been lobbying for months for a 4am closing time in selected tourist destinations around the country to boost the economy. After earlier proposals were rejected, it recommended on Dec 20 that only the Bangla Walking Street in Phuket be chosen as a pilot location for longer hours.