By The Nation
Phiphat did not elaborate when or which countries he would visit but he said he was looking at Italy’s model that allows pubs and bars to remain open until dawn to draw tourists.
“Several countries stimulate tourism by opening entertainment places in tourist destinations to encourage foreign tourists to spend. But the country whose policy interests me the most is Italy, where entertainment venues stay open until dawn. I want our entertainment venues to remain open until 4 am because our target group is not local residents but foreign tourists,” Phiphat said.
He said he would discuss and seek opinions from foreign officials on the pros and cons of allowing entertainment places to remain open late.
The minister said he has assigned the Tourism Authority of Thailand to survey opinions of operators of entertainment venues before submitting the plan for the Cabinet to consider.
TAT governor Yutthasak Supasorn said the TAT has checked opinions of operators of pubs and bars in several tourist destination areas, including Pattaya, Khon Kaen and Hat Yai. Next week, the TAT would conduct the survey in Chiang Mai as well as in selected southern provinces.
Yutthasak said operators in Khon Kaen did not want to extend the closing hours beyond 2 am, saying there are no foreign tourists left at 2 am.
But operators in Pattaya would like to remain open until 4am, the TAT governor added.