The Thai Cabinet has approved a proposal to allow entertainment venues to operate 24-hours a day only in the U-Tapao International Airport area to boost tourism. Thai officials and entertainment association representatives have since clarified after the original proposal appeared to cover Pattaya as well that this is not, for now, the case.
Our previous story:
Mr. Damrongkiet Pinitkarn, a secretary of the Pattaya Entertainment Association, told the Pattaya News that the Thai cabinet HAS approved to allow 24-hour operation of entertainment venues but only in the U-Tapao International Airport area and planned to be developed airport city. This allowance is primarily to service passengers who are waiting for their flights so they can order alcohol to drink and not for all night and day beach and nightclubs. This proposal for 24-hour operations does not currently affect entertainment venues in Pattaya, Damrongkiet clarified.
Damrongkiet did add that entertainment venue owners in Pattaya were still pursuing a legal 4:00 A.M. closing hours extension and zoning extensions in Pattaya which have already been formally requested to the appropriate agencies. However, business owners and tourists will have to wait for a final decision when the country has a new government and Prime Minister.
If a zoning extension is approved, it should not affect local residential communities in a negative manner, Damrongkiet added. The current proposal, notes TPN media, is to extend entertainment zones out of Central Pattaya and into portions of Jomtien, Naklua, and Eastern Pattaya. Indeed, in reality, there are already many bars and entertainment venues in these areas, especially in Jomtien, but technically they are supposed to be only restaurants without hostesses, music, or entertainment due to zoning laws from 2002.
We will continue to keep you updated on this story but for now the legal closing times in Pattaya remain 2:00 A.M. in entertainment zones and midnight in non-entertainment areas.