POLL: Majority opposed to 4am venue curfew

PHOTO: More Thais are against 4am closing times for entertainment venues

A new poll shows that, despite vocal advocates and support amongst tourists, the majority of Thai people don’t believe that nightlife entertainment venues should be allowed to open until 4am. The poll found that 48.6% of people believe that 2am is a late enough time for bars and clubs to close. Only 40.6% of people believe that some or all entertainment venues should be allowed to open until later.

The National Institute of Development Administration conducted the poll by interviewing 1,310 people. The interviews took place between December 23 and December 27. The NIDA Pole address the current debate over whether opening nightlife venues until 4am would do more good in the boost it would give to tourism revenue, or do more harm than the number of drunk driving accidents and deaths that could occur.

Minister of Tourism and Sports Pipat Ratchakitprakarn has been a vocal supporter of the curfew extension ever since visiting the Full Moon Party in August and seeing the huge benefit of the tourism that the all-night party brings. Opponents of the extension believe that it will drive people to drink more, get more drunk driving accidents, and increase crime.

After government discussions of the curfew extension proposal was either passed over or rejected, supporters of the 4am curfew scaled back their efforts and pushed for Bangla Walking Street, the most popular party zone in Phuket to be chosen as a pilot location.

The poll found that 48.6% of people interviewed thought that 2am was late enough for entertainment venues to be open. They cited worries about safety and the negative impact could have on neighbours around entertainment venues.

Another 7.2% went a step further and said that 2am was already too late for bars to be open and the late night drinking and partying leads to an increase in accidents and crime. and 3.2% were extremely conservative and said no entertainment venue should be open at night ever, citing the harm to area residents and statistics pointing to higher crime and accident rates.

On the other side, 26.3% of those polled supported a 4am closing time for entertainment venues, but only in tourist areas, according to the Bangkok Post. They said the later opening would help all the tourism businesses that were so badly affected by the Covid-19 pandemic and support the tourism recovery.

Finally, 14.3% of people polled say the 4am curfew should be enacted throughout all of Thailand. They believe it will bring income to not just entertainment venues, but other businesses like taxis or late night eateries that will reap benefits from patrons out later.

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Neill Fronde

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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