Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha may open Thailand to international travellers, but Tourism and Sports Minister Pipat Ratchakitprakan want to open nightlife options for those international travellers. The Tourism Minister plans to officially propose that entertainment venues, bars, nightclubs, karaoke lounges, pubs and other entertainment venues in the Blue Zones, the new term for the expanded Sandbox destinations, will reopen on November 1.
In a TV interview last night, the minister said he plans to introduce the measure at a CCSA general meeting next week, calling for entertainment venues to be reopened in key areas on Nov. 1. The proposal would target areas where nightlife and entertainment were an essential part. of the tourism economy.
He selected locations such as Chiang Mai, Koh Samui, Krabi, Pattaya, Phang Nga and Phuket where tourists traditionally flocked not only for their beaches but also for their nightlife, bars and party scene.
The minister had not included Bangkok on his list, out of concern that nightlife in the city would be too difficult to regulate safety and that the nightlife is not only a draw for international tourists but also attracts Thai customers, so it could be a higher risk and lower benefit than other destinations.
Pipat says the focus is on attracting foreign tourists, and Bangkok could also influence CCSA with their fear of Thai clubs that were primarily the source of the third wave of the Covid-19 outbreak.
“The reopening may initially only be intended for foreign tourists to lure them to the country. Much of the CCSA’s concerns about nightlife have nothing to do with tourism-related establishments, but rather major Thai nightclubs and places. But we have yet to discuss whether it will work or not.”
The tourism minister says there is leeway to try to find a way to reopen nightlife. He hopes some will be able to open safely with hours similar to before Covid-19, until 1 or 2 a.m. But he believes bringing nightlife in Bangkok to the table will fuel CCSA’s concerns about covid-19 control in nightlife venues.
The CCSA had originally proposed to reopen nightspots for the time being on December 1. They have authorized Phuket, Koh Samui and Khao Lak to serve alcohol in restaurants and the tourism minister expects them to allow restaurants in all blue zones to serve alcohol on Nov. 1.
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