The warning came in an official notice issued by the Phuket Provincial Office yesterday (Dec 23).
Gov Chockchai noted that so far 300 illegal operators had registered since the January 31 deadline was handed down earlier this month. (See story here.)
However, he also pointed out that a provincial investigative committee had identified a total of 1,366 venues illegally providing short-term rentals.
The same committee noted that only 424 hotels on the island were operating legally, he added.
“All illegal accommodations must be registered by January 31, 2017 and begin renovations so their properties can be legally registered in accordance with the the Hotel Act of 2004,” Gov Chockchai said.
“If any of them don’t follow the provincial notice within the deadline, they will face legal action,” he warned.
The deadline to register properties as hotels follows the Ministry of Interior on August 19 issuing a new regulation to make it easier for more property owners to obtain a hotel license.
The regulation – called the Ministerial Regulation Prescribing Descriptions of Other Types of Building Used for a Hotel Business Operation 2016 under the Building Control Act (1979) – will remain in effect for five years.
However, it applies only to buildings that existed before it came into force and whose owners desire to use the property as “Hotel” as defined by the Hotel Act. (See story here.)