Phuket ‘ready’ to open nightclubs until 4am

The Phuket Tourism Association is pushing for later closing times in nightclubs. Entertainment venues in Phuket, southern Thailand, are “ready” to open until 4am, according to the Chairman of the Phuket Tourism Association Thanet Tanipirayakit.

The association hopes to extend the closing times of entertainment venues on Patong beach’s Bangla Road from 2am to 4am in a Phuket Sandbox-style pilot scheme.

Thanet says that Bangla Road, a Walking Street, is full of bars and entertainment venues whose management all agree that opening later would be a benefit to them.

If the project is a roaring success for Phuket’s tourism industry, then the Thai government could consider extending the later closing time to entertainment venues across the nation. However, the project needs the green light to get going…

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“Entrepreneurs of Patong have responded positively to the idea of later closing times and want to start the experiment as soon as possible… but it solely depends on the ministry and relevant agencies because it is a case of the law,” said Thanet.

Thanet cited the success of the Phuket sandbox in navigating the reopening of Thailand’s tourism industry during the pandemic as a premise for the pilot scheme. Small hotels should also be allowed permits to open late.

The chairman did not comment on exactly who the idea would be presented to and when.

Bangkok Governor Chadchart Sittipunt has expressed support for Thailand’s entertainment venues to be open until 4am. He says it will eliminate “under the table” deals and put everything under the law, making nightlife safer for everybody.

The governor said that some nightclubs in Bangkok do open until 4am or later and officials are aware of it. The “under the table” deals that allow them to get away with it mean that safety inspections are bypassed.

Nightclub safety in Thailand was brought to the forefront after the avoidable tragedy at Mountain B nightclub in Chon Buri’s Sattahip district on August 5. Initially, 13 people died in the fire that night. Two months on, the fire claimed a total of 24 victims, after 11 people succumbed to their injuries and died in hospital. Many more are still injured.

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Leah is a translator and news writer for the Thaiger. Leah studied East Asian Religions and Thai Studies at the University of Leeds and Chiang Mai University. Leah covers crime, politics, environment, human rights, entertainment, travel and culture in Thailand and southeast Asia.

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