Summary

The Thai Ministry of Interior issued a regulation which exempts hotels in Thailand from paying their 2010 hotel operation fees. The one-year reprieve benefits hotels with hotel licences issued prior to 2010.

Full Update

The Thai Cabinet approved the Regulation in principle in its Resolution on 20 January 2009, a few months after the temporary closure of the Suvarnabhumi International Airport and Don Muang Airport in Thailand. The Resolution aimed to support the then battered hospitality and leisure sector of the country. Pursuant to the Resolution, the Ministry of Interior passed Ministerial Regulation B.E. 2552 on 30 December 2009 which exempts hotels from paying the hotel operation fees for 2010.

The Regulation applies to all categories of hotels in Thailand. It targets hotels which were issued hotel licences before 1 January 2010. The Regulation seeks to give these hotels, which were operating during the airport take-over, a breathing space to recover from the adverse effects of the incident.

Under Thailand's Hotel Act, hotel operators are required to pay an annual operation fee computed at THB 80 a room.

The Thai government is also considering giving Thailand's real estate sector a similar lifeboat by extending the reduced taxes and fees on real property transfers. Please see related Client Alerts (Extension of Reduced Fees and Tax on Property Sale and Thailand Reduces Government Fees & Specific Business Tax on the Sale of Property). The private sector is requesting the government for the extension of the reduced taxes and fees which will end in March 2010.