PHUKET TOWN: A forum, instigated by Phuket’s Democrat MP Anchalee Vanich Thepabutra, was held at The Metropole hotel on Saturday to brainstorm proposed amendments to the Hotel Act. The forum was attended by all three Phuket MPs; the Thai Hotels Association’s vice-president and president of the southern chapter, Sithi Tandavanitj; the honorary advisor to the Thai Hotels Association, Sampan Panpat; and managers of local hotels. The call to revamp the Hotel Act, which was last reviewed in 1960, comes from both parliament and many of Thailand’s hotels, as they no longer consider it appropriate for today’s hotel industry. The most significant proposal was appointment of a committee to determine the regulations governing hotel businesses and to be solely responsible for approving applications to build new hotels. Members of the proposed committee would come from both government and the private sector. Other proposed changes include a streamlining in license application procedures and a limit of 60 days to be placed on the decision process for applications to build and to open a hotel. The proposals from Saturday’s forum will be included in a draft Hotel Bill, which will be presented to a parliamentary commission later this year.
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