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October 6, 2023

Thailand Amends Hotel Regulations

On August 25, 2023, Thailand’s Ministry of Interior issued the Ministerial Regulation Prescribing the Types of Hotels and the Criteria for Hotel Business Operation No. 2 B.E. 2566 (2023), which amends the threshold for hotel license exemption and hotel business operation requirements specified in the similarly named ministerial regulation from 2008. The ministerial regulation, issued by virtue of the Hotel Act B.E. 2547 (2004), adjusts the hotel type classifications and introduces new compliance requirements for other types of structures that can be used as hotels (e.g., rafts, tents, or containers).

The 2023 ministerial regulation was announced and published in the Government Gazette on August 30, 2023, and will come into effect after 60 days (i.e., on October 29, 2023), amending certain provisions in the original 2008 ministerial regulation.

Key changes and new requirements under the 2023 ministerial regulation are detailed below.

Hotel License Exemption Threshold

The 2023 ministerial regulation raises the threshold for exemption from the requirement to obtain a hotel license. Under the new rules, accommodations with up to 8 rooms accommodating no more than 30 guests (previously no more than 4 rooms and 20 guests) are not regarded as hotels under the Hotel Act, and thus, a hotel license is not required.

Hotel Types

The 2023 ministerial regulation also changes the definition of the types of hotel accommodations that require a hotel license under the Hotel Act. The new classifications are:

  • Type 1: Hotels with up to 50 guest rooms only.
  • Type 2: Hotels with more than 50 guest rooms only, or hotels with (1) guest rooms and (2) a dining room, restaurant, or kitchen.
  • Type 3: Hotels with (1) guest rooms, (2) a dining room, restaurant, or kitchen, and (3) an entertainment venue under the law governing entertainment venues, or a conference room.
  • Type 4: Hotels with (1) guest rooms, (2) a dining room, restaurant, or kitchen, (3) an entertainment venue under the law governing entertainment venues, and (4) a conference room.

New Requirements for Other Hotel Structures

The 2023 ministerial regulation notes that other structures can be used as hotels—specifically mentioning rafts, tents, and containers—and introduces new requirements for them.

For rafts or any structures that float on water, with no permanent attachment to the ground or ground underwater, required safety measures include:

  • Life vests (at least as many as the number of guests of each hotel room;
  • Stable and strong guardrails;
  • Adequate lighting;
  • Fire extinguisher in accordance with building control law; and
  • Garbage facilities with capacity of at least 40 liters if there is cooking and food is served.

For tents, containers, or other similar items with a height of two meters or more, required safety measures include adequate lighting for the guest rooms and walkways in the hotel structure.

Hotel Permits and Certificates

The 2023 ministerial regulation requires hotel buildings located in the areas governed under the building control law to have a permit and certificate showing that the building can be used as a hotel according to the laws governing building control. A building inspection certificate is no longer accepted.

Hotel Room Size

The 2023 ministerial regulation also removes the requirements for the size of hotel rooms.

Comparison to 2008 Ministerial Regulation

The table below briefly summarizes the key differences between the 2008 ministerial regulation and the 2023 ministerial regulation.

For more information on this regulation, or on any aspect of real estate law in Thailand, please contact Chaiwat Keratisuthisathorn at [email protected] or Supranee Arjjit at [email protected].