The amnesty, initially brought into effect by the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) in 2016 was extended three years ago, and finally expired yesterday (Aug 18).
Pachara Luelamai, President of BAC Phuket, and other members submitted their formal request to Phuket Governor Narong Woonciew and Phuket Provincial Administrative Organisation (PPAO, or OrBorJor) President Rewat Areerob at Provincial Hall.
“We want officers to present this problem to the Cabinet to issue another announcement to extend the easing of some parts of the Hotel Act 2004 for three more years,” Mr Pachara said.
The amnesty was issued so that small hotels would have time to upgrade their premises to comply with the “Ministerial Regulation Prescribing Category of Other Types of Building Used for Hotel Business Operation B.E. 2564 (2021)”, Mr Pracha explained.
“Right now, the regulation is in the process of being drafted under the Ministerial Regulations of the Department of Public Works and Town & Country Planning under the Ministry of Interior. The ministerial regulation will give operators some time to make improvements to their buildings according to the criteria of the new law while the COVID-19 pandemic in Thailand continues,” he said.
“The amnesty was in effect only until today [Aug 18], which means the permission for these small hotels to open will expire. As a result of the economic crisis from COVID-19 pandemic, some hotels have needed to temporarily close for nearly two years,” he explained.
“The closure has affected the liquidity of funds and created the inability to access both public and private funding sources, so we have not had the opportunity to develop hotel buildings to enter the correct system. We also have problems with various limitations of the Building Control Act 1979, Land Allocation Act, Town Planning Act, Environment Act, Hotel Act, Ministerial Regulations and Local Ordinances,” Mr Pracha said.
“Members of the BAC are mostly small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) which have together helped the island’s economy to move forward and have been good hosts to welcome tourists under the Phuket Sandbox,” he noted.
“The end of the amnesty will push some hotel operators to face further problems because they will not be able to meet the SHA+ requirements in terms of health and safety measures,” he added.
“Even though there is the Ministerial Regulation Prescribing Category of Other Types of Building Used for Hotel Business Operation B.E. 2564 (2021), which extends the enforcement of the ministerial regulation issued in 2016 for three years, all members still have the same limitations with our inability to improve our hotel buildings to meet the requirement of the Hotel Act and the laws mentioned,” he concluded.