OPERATORS of all types of nightlife businesses asked Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha to quickly allow the reopening of their establishments and restore the 300 billion baht industry at the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) executive committee meeting on Friday May 20, Thansettakij said this morning (May 18).
Eight nightlife associations together with 230 entrepreneurs submitted a letter to the Prime Minister on May 9 asking for the pilot reopening of nightlife establishments at 26 tourism zone provinces on June 1 and after that nationwide on July 1.
Mr. Sanga Ruangwattanakul, president of the Khaosan Road Business Association, said in the past the nightlife industry generated at least 300 billion baht but strict Covid-19 prevention measures led to many operators permanently closing their business due to lack of income and liquidity with this affecting labour sector.
The eight associations are Khaosan Road Business Association, Pattaya Entertainment and Tourism Industry Association, Restaurant Entrepreneurs Association, Restaurant Business Trade Association, Trade Association of Night Food Business, Thai Alcoholic Beverage Association, Alcoholic Beverage Association and Thai Bartenders Association with a group of pub, bar and karaoke operators joining them.
They outlined seven proposals among which are confirmation that Covid-19 will be declared an endemic disease on July 1 and abolishing the enforcement of the Communicable Disease Act B.E. 2558, the Emergency Decree on Public Administration in Emergency Situation B.E. 2548 and the state of emergency from July 1.
They also urged the government to review and improve alcohol control measures which they said were unclear and not suited to the current situation while also hindering the revival of the tourism industry.
They urged that the prohibition of the sale of alcoholic beverages from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. be cancelled because in their opinion this step does not really prevent harmful use of alcohol and social problems.
They pointed out that the alcohol control measures have an impact on tourism and service sector businesses, such as hotels and restaurants, as they lose an opportunity to earn additional income while also ruining the atmosphere of tourism.
They called for designating special areas for night tours as a “soft power” strategy to draw tourists who enjoy drinking alcohol and the nightlife. Sale and consumption of alcohol in these areas should be allowed from 11 a.m. to 4 a.m. the next day.
Top: Bangla Road at Patong beach, Phuket. Photo: Nicolas Lannuzel (CC BY-SA 2.0)
Top: A Pattaya bar open for business before restrictions were imposed. Photo: Aleksandr Zykov (CC BY-SA 2.0)