Phuket Will Clean Illegal Hotels until January 2017

Phuket Old Town

According to the Bangkok Post, Phuket authorities want to get rid off illegal hotels. Talking to the Bangkok Post, Phuket Governor Chokchai Dejamornthan highlighted that they were 1,366 hotels operating without a hotel license, according to a survey conducted in the province in October. Patong Beach district has the largest number of illegal hotels with more than half of all recorded properties, followed by Thalang and Muang districts.”Illegally-operated hotels have until Jan 31 to legalise their operations.They still have time to notify us that their hotels are illegally operated and show their intention that they are ready to go legal within January next year, otherwise we will shut down and prosecute them, ” explained Phuket Governor to the newspaper.

The Province will start to close illegal hotels from coming February, including those modified from other residential types, such as condominiums, apartments, mansions, shophouses or individual houses. Thsi would probably raise concern for owners renting their rooms at Airbnb.

Illegally-operated hotels are classified into three types. The first type is hotels without a hotel license. Operators in this category would be able to apply for a licence if they can also show that they offer criteria such as parking spaces, security systems and fire prevention measures in conformity with the Hotel Act.

The second category includes apartments and condominiums who have a commercial building certificate but not a hotel operation one.  “If a condo unit owner wants to charge a daily rent like hotels, they need to ask for permission from other co-owners before applying for a hotel licence,” told Phuket Governor. The final type covers businesses without a construction permit or a building opening certificate.

Phuket aims to make all illegal hotels legitimate businesses within two years as legally-operated hotels have been hard hit by illegal ones.

At present, there are 424 legal hotels in Phuket with a combined 45,740 rooms. Nearly half of them or 204 hotels with 19,395 rooms are in the city district. Kathu district (including Patong) has 148 hotels with 18,839 rooms and Thalang district has 72 hotels with 7,506 rooms.