Curfew ends in Pattaya, Samui, Phuket

Curfew ends in Pattaya, Samui, Phuket


Published: 3 Jun 2014 at 18.39 
Bangkok Post 

Following calls from tourism operators, the National Council for Peace Order (NCPO) on Tuesday issued an announcement ending the night curfew in Pattaya city, Koh Samui in Surat Thani, and the entire island province of Phuket. 

The No. 52 announcement, signed by NCPO leader Prayuth Chan-ocha, took effect immediately. 

The council said the move was intended to restore the tourism atmosphere and cushion negative effects resulting from the ban against residents leaving their home during the curfew period. 

Moreover, Pattaya, Samui and Phuket have proved peaceful without reports of anti-coup activities, which the NCPO said could affect national security. 

The announcement said the curfew is still in force in other areas until further notice. 

The NCPO had earlier said it would consider lifting the curfew selectively in tourist areas where the situation had proved peaceful and there were no anti-coup activities. 

The NCPO initially imposed the curfew nationwide between 10pm and 5am. It later shorten the curfew to between midnight and 4am. 

The curfew has caused considerable inconvenience and losses of revenue, particularly to operators of entertainment places in tourist areas, not only Pattaya, Samui and Phuket, but also elsewhere — including Koh Pangan off Surat Thani where the next full-moon party has been set. 

The Association of Thai Travel Agents urged the coupmakers two weeks ago to relax the cufew in main tourist destinations in the three locations, as well as Hua Hin and Krabi. 

Tanongsak Somwong, president of the Tourism Promotion Association of Koh Samui, welcomed the decision by the NCPO after the curfew drove tourists away from the island. 

The lifting of the curfew will boost revenue for the island in Koh Samui district of Surat Thani province, he added. 

Koh Phangan is not on the announcement by the council. 

But Wanneee Thaipanich, president of the Tourism Promotion Association of Koh Phangan, hoped the decision could cover the island as the next full-moon party is set for June 12. 

The Tourism Authority of Thailand already cut its 2014 international tourist arrival target to 26.2 million visitors from 28.04 million, but tourism revenue is expected to increase to 1.4 trillion baht from 1.32 trillion on the back of a European tourist recovery. 

Last year, the country set a record on foreign tourists at 26.7 million. But prolonged demonstrations followed by the annoucement of martial law and the coup forced the tourism agency to revise down the the projection for this year. 

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