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Sandbox tourists shunted as Phuket officials delist guesthouses from SHA+

Sandbox tourists shunted as Phuket officials delist guesthouses from SHA+

PHUKET: Officials have yet to explain why guesthouses already inspected and approved as SHA+ accommodation venues are having their SHA+ licences revoked because they are fully legally operating as guesthouses, but not as hotels ‒ a fact known at the time when they were approved.

By The Phuket News

Sunday 5 September 2021, 10:00AM

Image: TAT

Image: TAT

The operator of one guesthouse in Patong told The Phuket News yesterday (Sept 4) that he first learned of the problem on last Wednesday night (Sept 1), when he went to register guest details through the Thailand SHA web portal ‒ as required by law.

Unable to log in, the guesthouse owner at first presumed it was a password or website problem, but was told by the Thailand SHA web administrators that his guesthouse was no longer registered as a SHA+ venue.

Asked why the SHA status was revoked, the owner was told to contact administrators of the SandboxPhuket project through their Facebook page.

After days of receiving no reply, the owner was finally informed last night that, “We just get the report that you have no hotel license”

The owner was told to have his Sandbox tourists moved to another SHA+ venue. He was also informed that accepting any new Sandbox guests would be illegal.

“If you continue to accept customer, you will act against the law,” said one message.

“Pls ask your customer to move to other hotel,” the next message read.

The guesthouse in Patong is currently enjoying 100% occupancy. Most of the guests are Sandbox tourists, the owner said.

“The guesthouse was approved for SHA in April-June, and for and SHA+ at the end of June,” he added.

The guesthouse was even issued a “SHABA ID” code in order to log in to the Thailand SHA platform to register guest details.

No longer registered as a SHA+ venue, the guesthouse can on longer issue confirmation of prepaid bookings at an SHA+ venue ‒ needed by tourists applying for Certificates of Entry in order to travel to Phuket, the owner explained.

The guesthouse also can no longer issue any “release” documents needed by Sandbox guests to confirm where they stayed as SHA+ guests in completing their 14-day stay on the island. The same “release” document is needed for Sandbox tourists to be able to leave the island to travel to any other parts of Thailand.

“They have shut us down completely without warning. We have a guesthouse license for 1-25 rooms. Everything is in order and we renewed the license in June. We follow the rules to the letter. Our hygiene routines are probably better than anywhere else in Phuket, the owner explained.

His guesthouse is not the only one to have had its SHA+ status revoked, he added.

The owner added that he had no idea what to tell his staff, who were recently brought back on in order to cope with the full bookings. “We have full strength of staff (cleaning, hotel manager and kitchen for breakfast),” the guesthouse owner said.

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Christy Sweet | 06 September 2021 - 11:37:21

This businessperson has  been 'Laguna'd'- where small operators are scrubbed so the big ones get all the customers. Find others and get yourselves a  lawyer to write a letter. 

Kurt | 06 September 2021 - 08:42:28

@Jurgphuket, I am confused. SHA a private organization? But the article speaks about 'Officials', and 'the Law'. Laws are announced in Government's  'The Royal Gazette'.  Hm. lets hope for guesthouse owners it is all a 'misunderstanding'. Some disgusting money story in favor of influentials only, but what cost many guesthouses/small hotels staff their jobs again...

Madeinswiss | 06 September 2021 - 00:58:38

SHA+ =government friends hotels.... Maybe included tips

jurgphuket | 05 September 2021 - 14:17:34

SHA is a private organisation and dominatet by big hotel owners and they do not want the small ones take their business. Stop using SHA, small hotels are as good as the big ones.

Kurt | 05 September 2021 - 11:52:27

Pity that governor + V/governors not have time to oversee this, unless they are 'political' involved. To busy with photo session at fishing boat pier cleaning, watching how the 'cleaning chemicals' get  unenvironmental friendly just scrubbed into the sea. No thinking ability, a show of dumb under their eyes.

Kurt | 05 September 2021 - 11:43:26

@phkt, Fact that this guesthouse first got a approved SHA license, after numerous inspections ( for which it did pay) got the SHA Plus status may prove that it is fully licensed by Phuket Officialdom. This licensing was not a overnight thing. Canceling it in a unbehavior way is. A shameful happening by not to be trusted Officials. Thai cheat Thai here.

Kurt | 05 September 2021 - 11:03:50

I wrote here last week that SHA Plus logo is not any longer granted to 'small' hotels, only 4-5 star hotels. Just another money story, initiated by the Thai Influentials. Great proof of how Thai are not helping Thai and making people who were unemployed, got back in jobs, unemployed again. All about government power abuse for money for 'pickpockets'.

Malc-thai | 05 September 2021 - 10:51:28

Your brown envelope wasn't big enough ?

Fascinated | 05 September 2021 - 10:26:46

Big empty hotels owned by Bangkok money forcing their will on guesthouses with Phuket money- who'd have thought it! Big boys don't like not getting their cut, look at the names behind the hotels that got AQS  in the first round of opening.

phkt-2016 | 05 September 2021 - 10:19:08

one of the conditions to be approved as SHA+ is that you have an hotel operation license. The issue is why was the place approved if it could not provide a hotel license. Oversight?


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