Khao San Road unaffected by 4am closing time due to exclusion from approved zone

Tourism operators on Khao San Road expressed their indifference towards the forthcoming 4am closing time set to come into effect from today, stating it will have minimal impact due to the area’s exclusion from the approved zone for extended hours.

Sanga Ruangwattanakul, who presides over the Khao San Road Business Association, pointed out that there is a prevailing confusion among tourists who had assumed the night entertainment venues on Khao San Road would be open until 4am.

However, the reality is that the late-night operating hours are restricted to venues on the Sanga, Silom, and Phetchaburi roads. The establishments located outside these areas, such as those in the Phra Nakhon district where Khao San Road is located, need to possess an entertainment venue license or be situated within hotels to remain open until 4am. According to Sanga, only five operators on Khao San Road hold such licenses.

Sanga further revealed that Khao San operators have appealed to the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration to include Khao San Road in the permitted zone for extended hours. They argue that the laws, which have specified these three areas since 1991, are now outdated.

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Sanga claims that 99% of tourism operators along this road have reopened their businesses post-pandemic. The remaining 1% consists of small hostels that have permanently closed their doors due to the lack of Asian customers, especially those from China, who have not returned as anticipated.

However, the situation is more positive with European guests, specifically from Scandinavian countries, Germany, France, and the UK. These visitors have almost fully returned to pre-pandemic levels, boosting the average occupancy rate in December to between 70-80%, a significant increase from the earlier 50-60%.

Sanga also stated that tourism operators agree with the government’s policy to celebrate the Songkran festival in April, with other activities planned throughout the month. Tourists usually spend three days partaking in the area’s renowned water-splashing activities.

If the government wishes to augment spending per person, the event could be extended to a maximum of four days, he suggested, reported Bangkok Post.

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