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Thai hotels oppose plan for 75% foreign condo ownership

Image courtesy of KhaoSod

The Thai Hotels Association (THA) expressed strong opposition to the government’s plan to allow foreigners to own up to 75% of condominium units, warning that it could lead to intense price competition and market disruption. Concerns were raised during a meeting where members discussed significant issues impacting the hospitality industry.

During the meeting, Tourism and Sports Minister, Sermsak Pongpanich delivered a speech on the direction of Thailand’s tourism and government policies to support the sector. The minister also welcomed input from the association members regarding their challenges.

Key issues highlighted by the members included land and building taxes, along with the government’s consideration to increase the foreign ownership limit of condominiums from 49% to 75%. The association argued that this change could negatively impact the hotel business.

President of the THA, Tianprasert Chaipattananon, stated that the Ministry of Finance is preparing to propose this policy to the Cabinet. He voiced strong opposition, claiming that the policy would facilitate the renting out of condo units daily, directly competing with hotels and potentially sparking a price war.

It was noted that legally registered hotels incur higher management costs compared to unregistered ones. Currently, over 40,000 hotels operate on online travel agency (OTA) platforms, but only about 15,000 to 16,000 of these are legally registered. The remaining 25,000 are unregistered establishments.

Should the policy be approved by the Cabinet, the market could see an increase in condos available for daily rental, further intensifying competition. Additionally, there is concern that the remaining 25% ownership could be infiltrated by foreign nominees, reported KhaoSod.

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The meeting concluded with a call for the government to reconsider the proposed policy, taking into account the potential adverse effects on the hotel industry and the broader economic implications. The association emphasised the importance of maintaining a balanced approach that supports both foreign investment and the viability of local businesses.

Business NewsThailand News

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