Life no longer in the Patong night

PATONG: A number of Patong nightspots have closed down temporarily due to the sharp decrease in tourism in the resort town. Chairat Sukbal, owner of Safari Pub, told the Gazette that many entertainment venues were forced to shut down because the lack of trade meant they were no longer able to pay staff wages. He attributed the lack of tourists to the Sars scare and the Iraq war. K. Chairat, concerned that his staff may too have to join the ranks of the jobless, said, “I’ll keep the Pub open as long as possible, but without some change in the situation Safari will have to close down soon.” Maroot Tanikom, Manager of two major Patong dancing venues, Tiger Pub and Star Wars, said that Tiger Pub closed down last week for planned renovations to the club’s sound system and will re-open again at the beginning of the next high season. “A lot of entertainment spots in Patong are closed now,” he said. “These include small bars that want to make a statement against the leader of a country that takes advantage of the entertainment industry [through excessive taxation], and also through its failure to announce clear zoning laws,” he added. K. Maroot said he believed Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra was good at managing most aspects of the Thai economy, but said the PM failed to recognize how his policies have affected the entertainment industry, which plays an important part in bringing foreign income into the county. One foreign bar owner told the Gazette, “My bar is doing well enough because it’s in a prime location, but many other bar owners are really hurting and having to pay out of pocket just to keep their operations running. There is almost a state of panic among many of them. “May and June are always the worst months, however. Total sales were really down last May, too, but we got a nice bump from several American warships that called in during that period. “I think there may be other factors at work besides Sars,” he said. “There is an atmosphere of greed now that has really destroyed what once made Patong beautiful. This could be affecting the number of tourist arrivals too,” he added.

Phuket News
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Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

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