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Hotel supply cap “pointless’ for Phuket

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Hotel supply cap “pointless’ for Phuket | The Thaiger

PHUKET: Hotel operators are lukewarm to an effort by the Thai Hotels Association to lobby the government to limit the number of new hotel licenses it issues, saying the real problem is the number of accommodation establishments that operate illegally.

Following reports that the association planned to lobby returning Tourism and Sports Minister Chumpol Silpa-archa to help develop the industry by limiting new hotel licenses in popular destinations, Phuket Tourist Association President Somboon Jirayus doubted such a measure could be effective in Phuket under current circumstances.

The main obstacle is the number of guesthouses, serviced apartments and similar establishments operating as hotels on the island without licenses, he said.

He estimated there were “over 50,000” rooms in such establishments – surpassing the number of rooms in registered hotels.

As of June 2011, there were 43,571 registered rooms in Phuket, according to Tourism Authority of Thailand statistics.

Asked how such a situation could have developed he said, “It’s hard to explain. I guess you could say we do it ‘Thai style’. Those businesses do not comply with regulations, they just build and open.”

As the Interior Ministry issues licenses, any effort to crack down on illegal operators would require action from them through the Governor’s Office in each province, he said.

If they could solve the “underground hotel” problem, the idea of limiting the number of new licenses would be an attractive one, he said.

“I think we have to accept the fact that the room supply in Phuket now surpasses demand, especially during the green season. So I think the idea to limit the number of new licenses is interesting, but I think you would need a committee to present all the facts relevant to the situation.

“It would be good if the government could do it, but it should match the actual supply and demand situation,” he said.

Rival destinations have benefited from similar measures. Authorities in Bali, for example, had successfully limited the number of new hotel licenses issued in certain areas, such as the tourist-busy Kuta Beach.

Whether or not new licenses should be issued is considered by a review panel after a set period of time, such as every three years, he said.

Suchart Hirankanokkul, president of Thai Hotels Association Southern Chapter and managing director of Graceland Hotel, said he was aware of the issues involved but would not be attending the meeting in Bangkok.

The chief problem of the proliferation of unregistered accommodation establishments was not that it created an oversupply situation, but that it eroded standards and compromised safety, he said.

“There are simply no controls on serviced apartments and guesthouses operating illegally as hotels,” he said.

The government should come up with a suitable permitting system for such venues to ensure they are at least equipped with basic safety systems. A major fire disaster in such an establishment would ruin Phuket’s hotel industry reputation globally.

“Prospective tourists would just hear the word ‘hotel’. They would not know whether or not the hotel was legally registered,” he said.

Many illegal hotels on the island were built as far back as 30 years ago and the structures do not meet building code requirements. Complete reconstruction would be cost prohibitive, so they opt not to apply for permits at all, he explained.

“But to order them to close would be too cruel,” he said.

Instead, the government should allow a “grandfather clause” to allow them to operate within the law, he added, insisting that the Thai Hotels Association did not want to limit new business investment.

“We are not opposed to business competition, but there must be standards in the industry. We want to bring the illegal establishments into the system so that we all operate under the same laws.

“Otherwise, legally-registered hotels will be forced to continue to operate at a competitive disadvantage since all those other operators don’t have to pay tax or train staff according to the Hotel Act. This allows them to undercut legal hotels on pricing,” he said.

The problem would be a topic of discussion at an upcoming meeting with the governor, he said.

— S Fein & J Upatising



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Business

Beam me up Phuket – new space theme hotel for the island

Bill Barnett

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Beam me up Phuket – new space theme hotel for the island | The Thaiger

A 150 key space themed hotel is under development in Kathu, Phuket, by a Singaporean group .

Located close to the Central Festival and Makro complexes, the project is expected to open next year according to a report in TTG Asia.

The One Pioneer – Beyond Space Travel hotel say it’s “highly focused on an outer space storyline and will have an indoor observatory”.

Janette Lee, founder and CEO, says the hotel is poised to open sometime in 2020.

“Tourism business in Thailand and in Phuket will continue to grow but there is still a lack of new attractions. Our vision is to bring to life the dreams of mankind for an experience of space on earth. Our target markets will be both local and international tourists.”

According to Lee, the company is seeking partners from Thailand or elsewhere to complete the project. She has had discussions with potential partners and investors during the South East Asia Hotel Investment Summit which took place in Bangkok last week.

Prior to entering the tourism business, Lee had sold her private education business and social enterprise in Singapore. She also used to work in the financial sector.

The project cost is estimated at $40 million.

Beam me up Phuket - new space theme hotel for the island | News by The Thaiger Beam me up Phuket - new space theme hotel for the island | News by The Thaiger

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Business

Skål International heads to Phuket, June 2020

The Thaiger & The Nation

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Skål International heads to Phuket, June 2020 | The Thaiger

by Paul Poole

Tourism industry professionals from all over the world are expected to descend on Phuket between June 25-27, 2020, for the 49th edition of Skål Asia Congress.

With more than 15,000 members in almost 90 different countries, Skål International is the world’s largest organisation of tourism professionals. Through countless local, national and international events, Skål International promotes global tourism and networking, pursuing topics of common interest.

Founded in France in 1934 following a trip to Scandinavia (“skål” means cheers), Skål International has since grown to almost 400 clubs in more than 90 countries around the world. Uniting various branches of the travel and tourism industry, its members, which include industry managers and executives, work to maximise networking on a global scale and promote a responsible tourism industry.

The Skål Congresses are held across the world and attract stakeholders from various parts of the tourism industry. Held at Laguna Phuket, Skål Asia Congress 2020 is an opportunity for Skål members in Asia to meet and discuss the trends and ideas in the tourism industry as well as network with their peers around a theme of “Go Eco 2020 – Ecological & Sustainable Tourism”.

Attendees will include airlines, travel and tour companies, online booking portals (OTAs), hotel owners and GMs, luxury cruise ship industry, technology companies selling hotel and web based services, telecoms, website services and discount programs.

The Skål Congresses are known for incorporating the host location and using local partners to arrange formal and informal excursions and events. Skål Asia Congress 2020 will feature a Pan-Asian ecological showcase and exhibition, a Phuket street food cocktail reception, OTOP (One Tambon One Product) showcase and tourist tours.

For more information contact The Sponsorship Experts, Paul Poole

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Phuket

An ‘ancient cannon’ found underwater off Koh Racha Noi

The Thaiger

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An ‘ancient cannon’ found underwater off Koh Racha Noi | The Thaiger

An investigation has been launched after an object, similar to an ancient cannon, was found near Koh Racha Noi off Phuket’s southern coast.

Rawai Mayor Aroon Solos says he was informed that the object looked similar to an old cannon and was found underwater off the island.

Mayor Aroon dived under water to check out the object for himself. He says it measures 1.3 metres in length and a ‘box’ was found on the sand nearby.

Mayor Aroon says these objects were first noticed last year by Woraphing Yothasut, a boat captain who found both objects at the same time. The captain says he told his friends but claimed “no one was paying attention”. This time he told the Rawai Mayor.

Today navy officers and officials from the Fine Arts Department are investigating the two objects and planning a possible recovery.

An 'ancient cannon' found underwater off Koh Racha Noi | News by The Thaiger An 'ancient cannon' found underwater off Koh Racha Noi | News by The Thaiger An 'ancient cannon' found underwater off Koh Racha Noi | News by The Thaiger An 'ancient cannon' found underwater off Koh Racha Noi | News by The Thaiger

 

 

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