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52 hotels in Phuket announce plans to close: THA President

52 hotels in Phuket announce plans to close: THA President

PHUKET: Fifty-two hotels in Phuket have announced their plans to close due to the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak, Thai Hotels Association (THA) chairman Kalin Sarasin has revealed.

tourismeconomicsCoronavirusCOVID-19
By The Phuket News

Saturday 28 March 2020, 10:04AM


A housekeeper cleans a hotel room. The pandemic is forcing hundreds of hotels to temporarily close. Photo: Bangkok Post

A housekeeper cleans a hotel room. The pandemic is forcing hundreds of hotels to temporarily close. Photo: Bangkok Post

The THA submitted a formal request to the Thai Chamber of Commerce on Friday (Mar 27) seeking help for operators and employees because of the spread of the coronavirus as hundreds of hotels seek emergency assistance from the government to protect employees during legal temporary closure.

The move will prompt the Social Security Office to compensate workers, reported the Bangkok Post. (See story here.)

Section 75 of the Labour Protection Act stipulates that hotel operators must pay 75% of employees’ salaries when shutting down their businesses.

However, during the current situation occupancy rates have plunged and most of the affected hotels are unable to pay, prompting the THA to request more official measures to support employees.

Mr Kalin said the THA had asked the government to open a registry for hotels that have to close temporarily because of force majeure under Section 79/1 of the Social Security Act.

If the government authorises this measure, the office can pay 50% of salaries to employee for 180 days.

“This is an urgent issue for the chamber. We’ll submit the request to the centre for the resolution of emergencies, aiming to settle it soon as up to a hundred hotels have suspended their businesses,” Mr Kalin said.

A minimum of 27 hotels in Bangkok and 52 in Phuket have announced closure plans, he said.

Mr Kalin said operators in some provinces will not have this problem, as there is a clear official order to close hotels in the area, meaning employees automatically have protection under Section 79/1.

Tourism and Sports Minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn said he asked the THA to submit the letter to both the Tourism and Sports and Labour ministries directly on Monday, with the former to be the mediator for further discussion.

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ThorFinger | 04 April 2020 - 13:24:50

Temporarily closed? You're dreaming. Some hotels are closing permanently as they have no income. Owners are losing huge amounts of key money and deposits and sadly, so sadly,  the suicide rate due to covid19 is higher than the actual deaths from covid19 here in Phuket. What if there is not a cure for 2 years? Do we continue to live in fear? Or do we learn to live with it as we do with common f...

CaptainJack69 | 31 March 2020 - 12:30:52

@Nasa12: And how many of their staff are registered for social security? Everyone else is screwed because of an 'emergency' that's killed 7 people in 3 months?

Nasa12 | 28 March 2020 - 12:26:48

How many hotels are registered legally in Phuket, anyone now that’s. 

 

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