In a bid to draw in more tourists, Thailand’s cabinet has approved a ministerial regulation that extends the opening hours of nightclubs and entertainment venues in key tourist hotspots. This latest initiative is part of the government’s ongoing efforts to attract more visitors and boost economic growth.
Under the new regulation, entertainment establishments, including clubs, karaoke bars and other venues in popular tourist destinations such as Phuket, Bangkok, Pattaya, Chiang Mai, and Samui will now be permitted to stay open for an additional two hours. Thereby extending their opening hours until 4 AM.
Thailand’s Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin had previously said the new rules would start on December 15.
Recognizing the tourism industry as a vital economic driver, particularly in the face of sluggish economic growth, the Thai government has been implementing various measures to rekindle interest from international travelers. One such initiative was the decision in September to waive visa requirements for Chinese visitors, a move intended to bolster tourism, given the significance of Chinese tourists to Southeast Asia’s second-largest economy.
According to current tourism statistics, Thailand has welcomed 24.5 million foreign tourists this year, with a projected total of 28 million by the end of the year. Despite these positive numbers, the figures still fall short of the pre-pandemic peak in 2019 when Thailand recorded a staggering 39.9 million tourists.