Longer nightlife hours boost Thai tourism revenues

By Phuc Trinh   January 14, 2024 | 07:24 pm PT
Thailand's tourism revenues jumped by 44% year-on-year, and some attribute it to the extended operating hours of bars and nightclubs.
Tourists at a pub on Soi Cowboy street in Bangkok, Thailand. Photo by AFP

Tourists at a pub on Soi Cowboy street in Bangkok, Thailand. Photo by AFP

According to the Tourism Authority of Thailand Governor Thapanee Kiatphaibool, in December, Thailand saw a 44% increase in tourism revenue, reaching 54.4 billion baht ($1.6 billion), as reported by Thai PBS World.

Bangkok Post states that from Dec. 15 the government allowed night establishments in five locations, Bangkok, Phuket, Koh Samui, Pattaya, and Chiang Mai to remain open until 4 a.m., a two-hour extension.

This has persuaded thousands of tourists to extend their stay and open their purse strings, as reported by Nikkei Asia citing government spokesman Chai Watcharong.

An official at the Tourism Authority of Thailand expressed the hope more Chinese tourists from Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, and Malaysia would come to celebrate the Lunar New Year in Thailand and offset the decline in tourist numbers from mainland China, Nikkei Asia reported.

Thailand, for whom tourism contribute 18% to GDP, has implemented various measures to revive the industry post-Covid, including the permanent scrapping of visas for Chinese nationals.

In 2023 Thailand achieved its target of getting 28 million visitors. Its top five markets were Malaysia (4.4 million), China (3.4 million), Korea (1.6 million), India (1.5 million), and Russia (1.4 million).

But the figure of 28 million remains far below the pre-pandemic level of 39.8 million recorded in 2019.

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