THA vice president Surapong Techauvichit said that hotels that failed to comply with the nation’s hospitality laws are potential hazards and deter hotel investment.
He was speaking at a joint THA and Association of Thai Travel Agents meeting on Monday.
Hotels in Thailand are obliged to be registered with the Department of Provincial Administration (DPA), which is part of the Ministry of Interior.
“The association conducted an investigation into Bangkok hotels and we discovered 532 hotels, representing 84,534 rooms, were active on the internet,” said Mr Surapong. “We checked this with the registrar at the Department of Provincial Administration and found that 353 hotels with 34,803 rooms had failed to register,” he added.
He said registration had a direct impact on quality of services, security, fire hazard checks and other safety aspects.
What raised suspicions was a contradiction in statistics.
Thailand attracted 19 million tourist arrivals last year, up 19.84 per cent from 2010.
But the increase in tourist arrivals did not correspond with the increase in overall hotel occupancy last year. That was up by only 12.45 points.
“The increase in tourist arrivals did not deliver improvements for [registered] hotels,” said Mr Surapong. “We have to assume that more travellers are staying in unregistered hotels.”