Ultimatum for illegal guesthouses on Koh Phangan

Ultimatum for illegal guesthouses on Koh Phangan

Tourists sunbathe on Rin beach on Koh Phangan. Authorities in Koh Phangan district will crack down on illegally-run guesthouses from Oct 16. (Bangkok Post file photo)
Tourists sunbathe on Rin beach on Koh Phangan. Authorities in Koh Phangan district will crack down on illegally-run guesthouses from Oct 16. (Bangkok Post file photo)

SURAT THANI: Owners of all illegally operating guesthouses on Koh Phangan have until Oct 15 to register before a crackdown begins, a district official said on Wednesday.

Phangan assistant district chief Wattana Buranathanang said authorities will clamp down on unregistered guesthouses after the deadline.

They have to register the business at the district office, he added.

The district has found more than 150 guesthouses in operation on the resort island without registering as a business, in violation of the Building Control Act. Many simply convert commercial buildings into guesthouses for tourists, largely backpackers, it said, adding they charge tourists between 300 and 500 baht per day for shared rooms and bathrooms.

Hotel owners on the island have cried foul over unfair competition from illegal operators, saying they pay no taxes to local administrations and the government.

District officials, police and soldiers based on Koh Phangan held talks on Wednesday to find ways to legitimise the businesses.

Authorities hold a meeting at the Phangan district office on Wednesday to map out a plan to stop guesthouses from operating illegally on the island. (Photo by Supapong Chaolan)


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