The Thai Cabinet has approved a proposal to allow nightlife venues in the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) area to operate 24 hours a day to meet the growing needs of tourists.
This includes the popular tourist city of Pattaya with thousands of entertainment venues.
However, before you get too excited, the regulation is not yet official and needs approval from regional and local leaders along with guidelines and regulations for the change. No timeline for this has been set.
The Ministry of the Interior is currently in the process of drafting a royal decree to allow the 24-hour operation of the entertainment venues within the EEC area. No exact completion date of the decree has been given yet.
The EEC area covers three provinces in the Eastern region of Thailand, namely Chonburi, Chachoengsao, and Rayong. However, not every nightlife venue in the province is allowed to stay open around the clock, only those in designated areas.
This legislation aims to support businesses in the EEC area in catering to increasing tourists who arrive at the U-Tapao Airport.
The Ministry of Tourism and Sports agreed that there should be measures to tackle issues that may arise after the legislation becomes effective. This includes the regular evaluation of the the safety of transportation, property, noise and waste pollution, in the surrounding areas.
The Office of the National Economic and Social Development Council also believes that relevant agencies should monitor the operations of establishments on a regular basic to ensure that they comply with existing rules and regulations.
As for Pattaya, local officials will need to discuss the legislation first before making a decision in terms of which areas it will apply to and what rules and regulations will apply. No set date for when this is expected to happen has been given so excited bar owners are being told to wait for more information and city communication for now and to adhere to current legal closing times in the interim. Some early proposals suggest the change may only be to certain zones, such as Walking Street, and not the whole city, but this remains to be seen.
TPN media notes the Thai government is also in a period of flux and this decision was made by the caretaker cabinet and Tourism Authority of Thailand in conjunction with EEC officials. Depending on who ends up becoming the Thai Prime Minister this situation could change.
Local MPs for Banglamung and Pattaya have been strong supporters of making Pattaya a 24 hour city like Vegas as we described here previously.
We will continue to update you on this and all news right here in Pattaya.