PHUKET: Phuket Provincial Administration Organization (OrBorJor) President Anchalee Vanich-Thepabutr has again threatened legal action against hotels that refuse to pay the controversial 1% rooms tax.
K. Anchalee said that the OrBorJor this year aims to collect 60 million baht in rooms tax, up from a little over 41 million during the fiscal year from October 1, 2005 to September 30, 2006.
However, she said that the tax collected during the past fiscal year was from only 149 of the 522 hotels on Phuket.
K. Anchalee warned that the court has already passed a judgment requiring every hotel to pay the room tax. “A reminder will be sent by mail to nonpaying hotels,” she said.
Collection of the tax has proved difficult in the past. In fiscal 2004, some 47 million baht in revenue was collected from fewer than half of the 218 hotels registered in Phuket at the time.
The Gazette reported in January 2005 that many hoteliers, including members of the Thai Hotels Association, wanted more details about how the revenue would be spent before they would agree to paying the tax.
K. Anchalee explained that the 20-million-baht increase in rooms tax collected is expected to come from an increase in the number of tourists, partly from Asia and Europe, but also from the expanding Middle Eastern and Russian markets.
She added that the OrBorJor plans to ramp up tourism promotion in India, which she says offers the greatest untapped tourism potential for Phuket.
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