Small hotels currently awaiting Hotel Licenses will be allowed to operate

The government will allow operators of small hotels of 50 rooms or less to operate while awaiting their Hotel License under a new Section 44 announcement. The order, which was issued on June 12, will enable small hotels currently in the process of applying for a hotel license to allow guests but all operators that changed their properties to hotels must comply with all required legislation such as laws related to town planning and building control by 2021. The Thai Hotels Association (THA) will allow such hotels to get support from the association and domestic guests can use hotel receipts to claim tax deductions.

Thailand is seeking to grow its Halal tourism as the country is considered very Muslim friendly according to the Global Muslim Travel Index (GMTI) 2019, ranking 18th worldwide and second among the top 10 preferred destinations for Muslim travel among countries outside of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC). An estimated 3.6-3.7 million Muslims visited Thailand last year, accounting for nearly 10 percent of total international arrivals. Globally
the Muslim travel market is expected to reach US$220 billion by 2020 with 160 million tourists, rising 36 percent to $300 billion with 230 million travelers in 2026.

The Department of Land Transport (DLT) is looking at legalizing Grab ride-hailing services involving private cars and motorcycles under the Land Transportation Act as ministerial regulation changes would not be enough. The DLT will also have to consider whether those who provide ride-hailing services also need public driving licenses and how far the agency can regulate them as they study other countries that have legalized ride sharing.

New business registrations grew one percent year on year in May to 5,942 mainly in construction, property and restaurants. The value of registered capital jumped 67 percent from May last year to 35.21 billion baht, however the values leaped 134.8 percent from 15 billion baht in April. In the first five months the number of new business registrations topped 32,636, up 5 percent from 31,034 during the same period last year. Foreign direct investment grew253 percent year on year led by Japanese investments in May, making up 2.75 billion baht, followed by China (790 million baht) and Singapore (60 million baht). Foreign investment for the month totaled 6.59 billion baht.

Work Permit

Any foreigner working in Thailand must obtain a Work Permit before beginning work. While a prospective employer may file an application on the foreigner’s behalf in advance of his starting work, the actual Work Permit will not be issued until the foreigner has entered Thailand in accordance with the immigration laws and has presented himself to receive his Work Permit.

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