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Pattaya frustrated by exclusion from alcohol ban lift in restaurants

Neill Fronde

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PHOTO: Pattaya is frustrated they were left out of the alcohol ban lifting. (via Freepik)
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While a great many people are thrilled with the plans to allow alcohol to be sold in the key tourism blue zones of Bangkok, Phuket, Krabi, and Phang Nga, there are some who are very angry about it: Pattaya business owners. Local tourism operators a not too pleased that Pattaya and its world-famous wild nightlife that draws millions of visitors each year was omitted from the list of provinces that could sell alcohol in restaurants starting Monday.

The president of the Pattaya Business and Tourism Association argued that the city deserves to be included in the zones that are allowed to serve a drink with meals to restaurant-goers. He complains that Pattaya is being kneecapped in the race to attract international tourism revenue back int to Thailand when other provinces can sell beer and they can’t, as many – if not a majority – of foreign tourists want to at least have a drink with a meal, and many have argued Thailand’s dry reopening is likely to damage its reputation for a while.

There’s less Covid-19 in Chon Buri province than in Bangkok, and even the high infection numbers there are by and large outside of Pattaya, with most infections found in clusters in factories and other close-quartered work areas, far from the touristic areas that international travellers will visit. Yesterday Chon Buri had 382 new infections, less than half that of Bangkok, and only 48 of those were in Bang Lamung district where Pattaya is situated.

PM Prayut Chan-o-cha had announced that the government is aiming to permit alcohol sales and consumption in restaurants nationwide on December 1, and there has even been talk about allowing some entertainment venues to reopen ahead of New Year’s Eve countdowns and other holiday parties and events.

For now though, a dry Pattaya awaits returning tourists on Monday, with some estimating as many as 30,000 new arrivals that will have to enjoy their meals without a cold beer to wash it down.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Neill is a journalist from the United States with 10 years broadcasting experience and national news and magazine publications. He graduated with a degree in journalism and communications from the University of California and has been living in Thailand since 2014.

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