Phuket’s nightlife venues to stay open till 4am boosting tourism and economy

Picture courtesy of PR Phuket.

Phuket Governor Sophon Suwannarat called upon local authorities to prepare themselves for the island’s nightlife venues, which remain open until 4am. This directive was issued during a meeting at Phuket Provincial Hall, where officials were instructed to identify the precise areas or zones where the late-night operations would be applicable.

The urgency for Phuket’s officials is palpable. Deputy Prime Minister Anutin Charnvirakul, who doubles as the Interior Minister, announced that the extended closing time would be enforced in time for the new year holiday period. This year’s holiday, approved by the Cabinet, spans four days, starting on December 29.

The decision to push through with the 4am closing aligns with Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin’s guidelines. The new hours will be progressively rolled out nationwide, with tourist hotspots such as Bangkok, Chiang Mai, and Phuket being the pioneers.

This initiative is also in line with PM Srettha’s pledge to revive Phuket’s tourism industry made during his visit to Phuket in August.

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Local entrepreneur Preechavude Prab Keesin, the proprietor of the Pisona group of companies and son of ex-Patong Mayor Pian Keesin, lauded the decision to finally allow late-night operations for nightlife venues. He expressed full support for the move and urged the government to consider the real-world context of foreign tourists’ needs in Phuket, reported The Phuket News.

Prab also endorsed the extension of entertainment hours until 4am as a significant boost to the economy of Phuket and Thailand. He believes that it will aid in income distribution to citizens providing tourism-related services.

Economic confidence

The additional trading hours will increase revenue potential, resulting in more tax collection, creating more jobs, and instilling increased confidence in investment and the economy.

Prab anticipates significant returns from this policy change, even if it’s implemented as a trial in the country’s tourist areas. He posited that the expected 2 trillion baht (US$55,056,220,000) generated from tourism could potentially double or even triple in the future.

Prab also pointed out that the extended operational hours for nightlife venues could enhance safety for tourists. He explained that when entertainment spots close at midnight or 1am, tourists tend to purchase drinks from convenience stores and then consume them on the beach, which heightens the risk of crime and even drowning. He added that this move would promote sustainable tourism, ensuring the safety and protection of tourists.

However, Prab dismissed the notion that nightlife operators were pushing for venues to remain open round-the-clock. He asserted that a 4am closing time was sufficient and would allow staff enough time to return home without causing any disturbance, and those with children could also get home in time for their school duties.

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Mitch Connor

Mitch is a Bangkok resident, having relocated from Southern California, via Florida in 2022. He studied journalism before dropping out of college to teach English in South America. After returning to the US, he spent 4 years working for various online publishers before moving to Thailand.

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