Mr Chuwit, who before his entry into politics was the country’s biggest massage parlour kingpin, called for the Tourism Ministry to allow bars and nightclubs to remain open until 4am.
“Ministry of Tourism and Sports: Wake up and promote!” Mr Chuwit said in the live broadcast as he paraded along Bangla Rd, joined by Patong Entertainment Business Association (PEBA) President Weerawit Krueasombut and Preechawude “Prab” Keesin, Head of the Pisona Group of companies.
“You must think about this. As I walk around here on Bangla Rd, most of the people are foreign tourists, not Thais. There are no students and no schools in the area that you need to worry about,” he said.
“No tourists go to sleep early on their holidays. They sleep in late and wake up late. Think about it,” he added.
Asked by Mr Chuwit how much revenue the Patong nightlife generated in general business, Mr Prab responded, “About B100 million.”
Mr Weerawit added, “The general businesses that benefit from this trade include pubs, bars and other entertainment venues as well as tuk-tuks and taxis, and restaurants”
“See, you (the MoTS) must promote Bangla Rd. It is a tourism area. Let’s show tourists what there is to see on the colourful and jolly street of Bangla Rd, Patong,” Mr Chuwit told his Facebook audience.
Since the video was posted on Tuesday, it has already had more than 43,600 views. (See video here.)
Mr Chiwit then asked several bar owners, including one Frenchman and an Australian, who their main clientele were, to which both responded, “Most are just foreigners.”
Mr Weerawit told The Phuket News, “I am glad that Chuwit visited Bangla Rd. He is a person who really understands the real situation on Bangla Rd – and he understands that here should close at 4 am, not 1am.”
Phuket Governor Chockchai Dejamornthan made the request to allow night venues to close at 4am official with a letter to the Prime minister’s Office dispatched on Feb 15. (See story here.)
Mr Weerawit noted that the PEBA was still waiting for a reply to the formal request sent by Governor Chockchai.
“This request will be presented to the Cabinet and we are still waiting for a reply from Tourism and Sports Minister Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul,” he said.