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Bangkok Post
Bangkok Post

Anutin clarifies alcohol sales hours for 4am closing

Tourists and nightspots on popular Khao San Road in Bangkok. (Photo: Pornprom Satrabhaya)

Interior Minister Anutin Charnvirakul said on Tuesday that nightspots in the four areas where opening hours will be extended will be able to serve alcohol until 4am.

Mr Anutin earlier said although bar opening hours in Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Chon Buri and Phuket would be extended until 4am, alcohol sales times would not be extended. His remarks drew criticism from nightspot operators.

“I might have been a little wrong, because I talked about several issues. Entertainment venues can stay open until 4am and can sell alcohol under their existing licences,’’ the minister said on Tuesday.

Entertainment venues inside hotels could also stay open until 4am.

However, restaurants could serve alcohol only until midnight, he said.

The president of the Khao San Road Businesses Association had earlier expressed his disappointment that the government’s policy to extend opening hours of entertainment venues in Bangkok, Chon Buri, Phuket and Chiang Mai until 4am did not include extending hours for the sale of alcohol.

He saw it as contradictory to stimulating tourism, saying it would not lead to increased tourist spending. He said the drinking behaviour of foreign tourists differed from that of Thai clubbers, who liked to buy a bottle of spirits, with mixers, and drink it until closing time. Foreigners usually ordered single drinks, one after the other, he said.

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