(CTN News) – In a bid to revitalize its economy, Thailand’s cabinet has approved a ministerial regulation extending the operating hours of nightclubs and entertainment venues to boost tourism, as announced by government spokesperson Traisulee Traisaranakul on Tuesday.
Entertainment hotspots, including clubs and karaoke bars in popular tourist destinations like Bangkok, Phuket, Pattaya, Chiang Mai, and Samui, can now stay open an additional two hours until 4 AM.
The implementation of these new rules, scheduled to commence on December 15 as previously indicated by Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin, underscores the government’s commitment to stimulating economic growth.
Thailand has faced sluggish economic growth compared to its regional counterparts, prompting the government to implement stimulus measures with a particular focus on the tourism industry—a vital economic driver.
In addition to extending nightlife hours, Thailand has waived visa requirements for travelers from India. This policy, effective from next month until May 2024, aims to attract a higher number of tourists, capitalizing on the growing interest from these regions.
The decision to extend entertainment venue operational hours is part of a broader strategy to attract foreign visitors.
Eases Visa Rules to Boost Tourism
In September, the government waived visa requirements for Chinese visitors, recognizing them as a pivotal source of tourists for Southeast Asia’s second-largest economy.
Thailand has welcomed 24.5 million foreign tourists this year, with a projected total of 28 million arrivals by year-end.
Although substantial, this figure falls short of the pre-pandemic peak in 2019 when Thailand recorded a historic 39.9 million arrivals, including 11 million from China.
However, this year’s forecast for Chinese arrivals is notably more conservative, with the government anticipating only 3.5 million visitors from China.