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Airbnb shares research and best practices for Thailand’s short-term rental industry

May Taylor

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Airbnb shares research and best practices for Thailand’s short-term rental industry | The Thaiger

Yesterday The Thaiger published a story about Airbnb, supplied through The Nation, that contained a number of inaccuracies. We now publish the entire original media release from Airbnb…

Airbnb has today released its proposed regulatory principles for short-term accommodation which would support the Thai Government’s objectives of making Thailand the premier tourist destination in Asia and one of the top tourist destinations globally.

Driven by a desire for more local, unique and authentic travel experiences, the Airbnb community in Thailand continues to grow from strength to strength. Local hospitality entrepreneurs are choosing Airbnb to earn extra income or grow their business giving guests the choice to stay in boutique hotels, vacation rentals or local homes. By helping attract and host more guests, the Airbnb community is growing and diversifying Thai tourism.

Following positive meetings with multiple government departments and industry stakeholders, Airbnb has put forward suggested regulatory principles for short-term accommodation in Thailand. These principles would support local priorities and reflect Thailand’s unique needs, and are consistent with best practices for regulating short-term accommodation regionally and globally.

The regulatory principles also reflect latest research, conducted by Expedition Strategies in late 2018, which found 88% of Thai people would support residents in their neighbourhoods sharing their homes, 89% would consider using short-term accommodation in the future and 84% believe short-term accommodation is good for communities because it will bring tourists to more areas where they will spend money.

Airbnb’s proposed regulatory principles include:

  • Simple and online national-level registration – A simple, swift and online registration system for short-term accommodation to ensure compliance and promote high safety standards.
  • Differentiated regulation – A differentiated – rather than one-size-fits-all – approach to regulation which distinguishes between the various types of short-term accommodation activity. For example, regulations should differentiate between someone sharing a room in their home, their own home occasionally or someone with a vacation rental for full commercial purpose.
  • Industry-wide approach – There should be an industry-wide approach to regulation and close cooperation between all industry participants and regulators in implementing regulations.
  • Tough but fair rules for bad behaviour – The overwhelming majority of hosts and guests are good neighbours and respectful travelers, but there should be penalties that target extremely rare instances of bad behaviour.

“Airbnb wants to be a good and responsible partner to Government and do what we can to help Thailand achieve its tourism objectives. Already, our local community is helping grow and diversify the Thai tourism industry and spread the benefits of tourism to local communities across the country, particularly those in emerging destinations like Buriram,” Airbnb’s Head of Public Policy for Southeast Asia Mich Goh said.

“For some time, we have listened to local authorities and sought to better understand their priorities. We appreciate the balanced and forward-looking approach the Thai Government has considered to take in developing a modern regulatory framework for short-term accommodation.”

“We respectfully believe the regulatory principles for short-term accommodation we have put forward support the Government’s objectives and strike the right balance. We look forward to continuing to work constructively with the Thai Government to develop regulation that would work in Thailand.”

Earlier this year, Airbnb released new data which found the local host and guest community generated over $33.8 billion baht in estimated direct economic impact in Thailand in 2018, and on average Airbnb guests say 46% of their spending occurs in the neighbourhoods where they stay.

Airbnb is also supporting the growth of emerging destinations in Thailand. In 2018, the number of Airbnb guest arrivals visiting emerging destinations in Thailand grew by 53% year-on-year. Recently, Airbnb launched a new campaign, Sustainable Travel with Airbnb: Beyond Big Cities” to promote emerging destinations such as Buriram.

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Election

Thanathorn disqualified as Member of Parliament – Thai Constitutional Court

The Thaiger

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Thanathorn disqualified as Member of Parliament – Thai Constitutional Court | The Thaiger

Leader of the Future Forward Party, 41 year old Thanathorn Jungroongruangkit, has been disqualified as a Member of Parliament following the handing down of a guilty verdict by the Thai Constitutional Court today.

The Court’s findings say Thanathorn was still holding shares in a media company when he registered to run in the March 24 national election. Thanathorn presented evidence during hearings into case declaring that he’d divested himself of any company shares before the calling of the election.

Constitutional pundits say the ruling now paves the way for Thanathorn to be charged under Article 151 of the Elections Act which specifies a jail term of up to 10 years and a political ban for 20 years for anyone found guilty of registering to run in MP elections while knowing that he or she is not qualified.

Thanathorn was originally accused by the Election Commission of still holding 675,000 shares in his family-owned V Luck Media Company when he registered to run in the general election in March this year.

During his defence Thanathorn insisted that the company was not a mass media entity in the general sense as it published only an in-flight magazine and a glossy franchised lifestyle magazine. He also presented evidence that he had transferred all the shares in question to his mother prior to registering to run in the election.

Article 98 of the Constitution prohibits proprietors or share-holders of media companies to run in elections out of fear they would have undue political influence, according to Thai PBS World.

The court dismissed Thanathorn’s defence on both points and revoked his status as an elected MP effective as of May 23 when he was suspended from active duty as MP after the Election Commission made the charges.

Hundreds of supporters of Future Forward Party showed disappointment as they listened to the verdict broadcast on close-circuit TV in the lobby of the Constitutional Court under tight security. Representatives from the US Embassy and EU in Bangkok were also seen attending the session as observers.

Despite his absence from the Parliamentary chamber, and his suspension as an MP at the time, Thanathorn narrowly missed being elected as the Thai PM in the first sitting of the new Parliament.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

 

Thanathorn disqualified as Member of Parliament - Thai Constitutional Court | News by The Thaiger

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Thailand

Visa-on-arrival passengers from 18 countries can now apply online

May Taylor

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Visa-on-arrival passengers from 18 countries can now apply online | The Thaiger

PHOTO: travellingsands.com

Visitors from 18 countries, entitled to visas-on-arrival, are being advised by the Tourism Authority of Thailand to apply online for their e-visa.

Thai Residents reports that nationals of Bhutan, Bulgaria, China, Cyprus, Ethiopia, Fiji, Georgia, India, Kazakhstan, Malta, Mexico, Nauru, Papua New Guinea, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Taiwan, Uzbekistan and Vanuatu are all exempt from paying the 2,000 baht fee for visas-on-arrival for visits of less than 15 days’ duration.

The TAT is now inviting citizens of these countries to use the new online e-visa application and approval system available at either www.thailandevisa.org or thailandevoa.vfsevisa.com

Applicants will need to complete an online form, scan and upload the required paperwork, pay any fees online and then download the approved visa and present it to Immigration officials on arrival at Suvarnabhumi, Don Muang, Phuket or Chiang Mai international airports.

Although exempt from the 2,000 baht visa fee until April 30, 2020, applicants are still required to pay an online visa processing fee. The fee is 600 baht for the normal processing time of 24 – 72 hours, whereas 2,500 baht will get you to the front of the queue and approval within 24 hours.

SOURCE: Thai Residents

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Economy

No Chim-Shop-Chai deadline for over 60s

Greeley Pulitzer

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No Chim-Shop-Chai deadline for over 60s | The Thaiger

The third phase of the government’s “Chim-Shop-Chai” (Eat-Shop-Spend) program has a special quota of 500,000 reserved for the Thai elderly, in addition to the already fully subscribed 1.5 million.

A spokesman says the Finance Ministry has not set a time frame for elderly people to subscribe so they won’t feel pressured to meet a deadline.

More than 90,000 seniors subscribed to the scheme on the first day, another 28.773 people on the second and 15,266 on the third day (Tuesday). Added to the 145,000 who joined as part of the main quota, the total number of senior subscribers has passed 280,000.

The Finance ministry is labelling social media comments that the program for seniors is a flop with low registration “simply untrue.”

The government offered first phase of “Chim-Shop-Chai” as an economic stimulus in September. Ten million people got 1000 baht to spend outside their home province, and 10-15% rebates for spending between 30,000-50,000 baht on domestic tourism. The scheme was a great success, with a million people subscribing online within a few hours each available day.

This was followed by the second phase of the scheme, for another three million people, in October.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

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