The province of Phuket has already released a deadline for unlicensed hotels in the area to get their legal papers before January 31. After which time, all establishments that did not comply with the requirement will be shut down in February of this year.
In an interview with Chokchai Dejamornthan, the governor of Phuket, a survey was conducted in the province last October and it revealed that there are existing 1,366 hotels in the area that are operating without legal hotel licenses. Over half of this number is located in the area of Patong beach which is covered by the Kathu district. The second highest number of illegal hotels is located in the area of Thalang distric and the third is on Muang district.
The governor said that they are only giving until January 31 for all illegal hotels to have their operation legalized. They are given the chance as well to present themselves in front of the governor and admit that their operation is illegal and that they have the intention to make their business legal within the first month of the year. If not, the authority will shut down the business and the people behind them will face prosecution.
The provincial authorities have already made an official announcement last November that starting February, they will be shutting down illegal hotels in Phuket. This does not only cover hotels without licenses but also modified establishments that used to be residential buildings such as shophouses, condominiums, individual houses, apartments and mansions.
There are three types of hotels that are illegally operating in the area. The first classification is those hotels operating without hotel license. The operators can easily apply for a legal license as long as they comply with the Hotel Act. The second classification is grey area establishments such as condos and apartments. They may have the construction permit as well as the certificate in opening the business but they lack amenities that will classify them as a hotel. The third and last are businesses that are operating without certificate of opening and even construction permits.
The problem with illegal hotels, unlike a licensed party hotel in Bangkok, is that they pay no taxes, they are not equipped with security systems and they have no insurance as well.