PATTAYA: Operators of entertainment venues in this resort town have expressed their delight with a move by Interior Minister Anutin Charnvirakul to extend their operating hours to 1am.
Damrongkiat Pinitikarn, secretary of the Entertainment and Tourism Association of Pattaya City, said on Friday that the planned extension from midnight would promote tourism and boost the economy.
Representatives of the association earlier held talks with Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin about the issue and received a positive response, said Mr Damrongkiat.
However, operators have to await a cabinet resolution to see whether entertainment venue regulations could be eased, he added.
Pattaya is global tourism landmark that attracts foreign visitors to the beach town in both daytime and nighttime, said Mr Damrongkiat.
In other countries, entertainment venues are allowed to open until well into the early-morning hours, he said. However, he acknowledged the need to review the laws to avoid affecting communities. Safety measures for tourists as well as problems such as impaired driving should also be considered.
He said the extension was a good sign because it would increase income for businesses and this would also generate income to employees and vendors.
Mr Anutin said earlier on Friday that his ministry would look into tourist provinces and zones where entertainment venues would be allowed to stay open until 1am.
Lamphueng Hamilton, chairperson of the Pattaya Nightlife Business Association, said she was hopeful that the government would extend the hours as operators had called for it for a long time.
Sitthichai Veeradecha, 30, a beer bar operator along Pattaya beach, said he fully backed the planned extension as it would boost incomes for operators.