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Tuesday, December 5, 2023

No guarantees for October nightlife in Pattaya, authorities want to focus on cultural and natural activities


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The province’s health department has kept quiet about a possible reopening of Pattaya’s popular bar, nightlife and entertainment industry in October, despite the proposal to reopen the city to foreign vaccinated tourists, similar to the Phuket Sandbox, which is likely to be adopted tomorrow in some form.

The above-mentioned TAT proposal will be submitted to the CCSA for decision tomorrow, although this proposal would be a big step forward for Pattaya and would be the first time since early March 2020 that tourists will be allowed to move freely through the area without a strict hotel quarantine on the rooms, it is by no means certain that Pattaya’s world-famous entertainment industry would open. It’s not even certain whether restaurants would serve alcohol.

For example, southern Phuket has been open for several months, but the nightlife there is closed, despite the population of the island being highly vaccinated and all tourists/visitors have been vaccinated. This is despite repeated requests from the hospitality industry, which is currently closed across the country for about five months in a row, to be allowed to open with strict rules and regulations, similar to those with restaurants. The local hospitality sector also indicates that they have received little or no financial support as a whole.

The decision, to be fair, is not that of the mayor of Pattaya or the governor of Chonburi. The closure of nightlife and bars and the ban on alcohol in restaurants is mandated by the administrative centre for Covid19 control, the CCSA, in Bangkok.

While it is true that enforcement varies widely across the country, the coastal city of Pattaya is under a magnifying glass and all Covid19 restrictions are enforced quite strictly, with authorities well aware that Pattaya is the epicentre of nightlife and bars. are in Thailand.

The CCSA has so far shown itself to be extremely cautious and conservative about anything that contains alcohol, consistently stating that they believe alcohol-related gatherings and events are the highest-risk activities in spreading the Covid19 virus. The CCSA has (unfortunately) not given or outlined a plan at this time on how to reopen entertainment, bars, concerts and nightlife in the country.

However, the authorities in Chonburi want to take the focus away from the nightlife and reassure the bars and tourists that there is still plenty to do to keep people busy during their holiday in Chonburi.

Right now, with an immediate nightlife opening uncertain, leaders plan to focus on promoting cultural and natural attractions in Pattaya to potential unvaccinated foreign tourists, as well as locations that are currently already open.

Some of the attractions and things leaders want to focus on are the beaches and how much cleaner they are with a lack of major tourism, Koh Larn and other islands, water activities such as diving and swimming, tourist attractions such as Nong Nooch Garden, the shrine of Truth, Khao Kheow Open Zoo and animal attractions.

The provincial authorities also plan to focus on the fact that Pattaya has many large resorts with many amenities, multiple shopping centres such as Terminal 21 and Central Festival, hundreds of different restaurants and natural attractions such as Buddha Mountain, the Big Buddha (special newly repainted for tourists), and the many local temples such as Wat Yansangwararam.

The Takhian Tia also plans to focus on cultural and historical attractions, with the hope that tourists would be interested in learning how Thais lived throughout history and experiencing weaving, traditional Thai clothing, food and culture.

Authorities also plan to promote the many golf courses in the Pattaya area, according to the information given to the local press. However, it remains to be seen whether this will draw crowds with Pattaya’s famous nightlife potentially unable to open due to authorities’ concerns over Covid-19.

Entertainment industry entrepreneurs have now started filing petitions and offering suggestions to the CCSA on how to safely open their industry, stating that they are willing to follow strict rules if they can simply open their doors, including proposals to allow only vaccinated customers and staff.

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