Phuket urges small hotels to obtain a licence ahead of anticipated 2.19 million tourists


Phuket is gearing up for the high season by encouraging small hotel operators to obtain a licence. This move is part of the city’s preparation to host over 10,000 tourists daily, equating to 2.19 million visitors annually.

The Phuket Boutique Accommodation Consortium (BAC) held a seminar on September 7 to advocate for a ministerial regulation that was issued by the Department of Public Works and Town and Country Planning of the Interior Ministry back in June. This regulation adjusted the criteria required to obtain a hotel licence.

Deputy Governor of Phuket Danai Sunantarod expressed that the hotel licence changes provide a favourable opportunity for small hoteliers to legally register their businesses and open up their establishments for public agency inspections.

The revised hotel licence regulation provides certain exemptions to small hotels from building qualifications that are generally imposed on standard hotels. These include stipulations about stair width and the distance from public roads. However, mandatory safety qualifications concerning fire management and building structure remain in place.

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Chinnawat Udomniyom, the president of Phuket BAC, shared that a vast majority, over 80% of small hotels on the resort island currently operate without legal licences. With the relaxation of certain regulations, he anticipates a surge in registration from these small-scale operators, reported Bangkok Post.

The head of the Tourism Council of Thailand (TCT) Region 11, Wirintra Paphakityotphat, projected that Thailand could welcome between 25 to 30 million visitors by the end of the year. These figures are sourced from the Tourism Council of Thailand.

She indicated that Phuket houses approximately 4,000 to 5,000 hotels, but only 1,000 of these establishments possess operational licences. With this new regulatory amendment, it is hoped that more hotels will become licenced, bolstering Phuket’s capacity to accommodate the anticipated 2.19 million annual visitors. This could potentially generate over 16.2 billion baht in tourism revenue.

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Mitch Connor

Mitch is a Bangkok resident, having relocated from Southern California, via Florida in 2022. He studied journalism before dropping out of college to teach English in South America. After returning to the US, he spent 4 years working for various online publishers before moving to Thailand.

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