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Friday, December 1, 2023

Authorities drive the final nail into Walking Street coffin


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Pattaya’s Walking Street is intending to remove entertainment venues for adults and become a more friendly family destination.

Many of the nightclubs and bars on this famous street have received official notices that their entertainment licenses will not be renewed come next year.

Walking street has a 50-year history, and the famous street has experienced a number of economic and political crises, countless attempts to close or modernize the street. However, this time it looks like things are much more serious.

Owners of Walking Street entertainment establishments have fought off, sometimes literally, attempts by the authorities to close the businesses on the grounds that some buildings were illegally built on and around the beach. But, over the years nothing serious has happened since corruption has never been dealt with.

This time, it is a very different story. City Hall has been proclaiming that there is a wonderful and bright future for the family resort for a few months now, which obviously means getting rid of the adult businesses, at least from the beach street.

Authorities have talked for a long time about Pattaya becoming like Miami or Singapore, cities that combine high-end tourism with successful other business sectors.

However, opinions have differed over the feasibility of these high expectations in Pattaya, as the city still has obvious environmental concerns, especially related to waste disposal, sewerage, and annual flooding.

Some owners and tenants of Walking Street have been informed that 2021 will be their last year of operation. In all likelihood, this is so.

The City will refuse to renew annual business licenses when they expire next January.

Of all the stamped documents required to open a Pattaya nightclub, an entertainment license is a key. It also requires licenses to sell spirits and cigarettes, a music license, an appropriate lease, and in the case of a foreign owner, a company, and a work permit issued by the Ministry of Labour.

Various reasons have been given for the alleged termination of license renewals for Walking Street establishments, such as The beach-side have been built on land owned by the Royal Thai Nav, or the entire area is designated as a “living area with no loud noises at night.

All the details governing entertainment licenses are very broad and very vague.

This applies to any place where there are sound and light equipment, and this includes restaurants. Any place where employees can communicate with customers must have such a license. It is illegal to issue a license to an institution if it is located near a school or religious institution.

So, moving forward, bulldozers will finally come in and demolish part of Walking Street to make the city a true family resort.

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