Thailand legalises late nights to promote tourism, boost economy

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FILE PHOTO: People spend their time inside a bar after the Thai government eased isolation measures and introduced social distancing to prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), as bars and nightclubs are reopened nationwide, in Bangkok, Thailand, July 1, 2020. REUTERS/Chalinee Thirasupa/File photo

The country’s cabinet has given approval to a regulation that allows popular establishments in tourist hotspots like Bangkok, Phuket, Pattaya, Chiang Mai and Samui to stay open until 4 AM. This move comes as part of the governments commitment to revitalising the tourism sector which plays a vital role in Thailand’s economy.

Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin had previously announced that these new regulations would come into effect on December 15th. The government has been actively implementing measures to stimulate growth in comparison to neighbouring countries, recognising the importance of tourism as a driver for economic activity.

By extending the operating hours of entertainment venues, night clubs and karaoke bars, Thailand aims to attract visitors as part of their strategic initiatives. In September, Thailand made the decision to waive visa requirements for visitors, a significant source of tourists for the country’s booming tourism industry. This action demonstrates Thailand’s commitment to rebuilding and rejuvenating its tourism sector.

Although Thailand had welcomed 24.5 million tourists in 2023, the country aims to achieve a total of 28 million arrivals by the end of this year. However this projection is considerably lower than the pandemic peak of 39.9 million arrivals with China alone contributing 11 million visitors. The expected number of arrivals for this year is modest at around 3.5 million.

To adapt and thrive in the changing landscape of tourism Thailand has introduced the measure of extending the country’s nightlife hours. This move holds potential for revitalising a key sector to the nation’s economic recovery.

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