There are about two thousand hotels, guesthouses, hostels and other various types of places to stay in Pattaya. According to Sophon Cable television and educated estimates from other press, including The Pattaya News, over 70% and possibly as high as 90% may be against the law.
We reported on our social media channels in the past few weeks that the Prime Minister used Article 44 powers to pass further enforcement on the Hotel Act.
This means that within 90 days, with a deadline of August 18th, all Hotels must signify their intent to continue to operate.
Raids on hotels and guesthouses are not new, as anyone who follows our website on a regular basis is aware, however, the recent enforcement is a sign that it has become a pressing issue and major concern once again.
The government states the primary reason for the enforcement is tourist safety, however, they admit that pressure from the licensed Hotels, primarily large corporations and companies, over losing business to small, unlicensed condos, villas, guesthouses and hostels is another primary reason of enforcement.
In Pattaya, there are hundreds and hundreds of small guest houses and hostels that would likely be a primary target of stricter regulations. Last year there was a series of crackdowns and enforcement, however on a limited scale. This upcoming deadline means that those who continue to operate will likely face justice once more.
However, not all is doom and gloom. Although the deadline for a statement to continue to operate is the 18th of August, the deadline to meet the majority of the safety standards is two years, August 18, 2021.
The requirements for hotels and guesthouses to comply are extensive, to include fire extinguishers on every floor, emergency exits, emergency lighting, a qualified hotel manager and staff, full-time hotel security, fire safety training and more. Additionally, other requirements include designated parking, adherence to building regulations, standard room sizes, and floorplans, accounting standards, and tax regulations.
Meanwhile, many small business operators state to the local press that there is no way they could meet all these regulations and will likely have to go out of business.
Social Media response is mixed, with some applauding the decision, primarily those who live full time in condo complexes that they allege are constantly full of unlicensed guests that treat a residence like a hotel. Some, however, state that budget travellers are being forced out and that places like backpacking hostels and cheap guesthouses may be a thing of the past.