THA apprehensive about proposed wage increase

THE THAI Hotels Association (THA) has raised concerns that the planned increase in the minimum wage of the Pheu Thai-led government-in-waiting will pressure local hotel owners to sell to foreign investors.

THA honourary advisor Sampan Paenpat said the incoming government’s populist policy proposal to increase the daily minimum wage to 300 baht (US$10) and to offer the startup salary for those with bachelors degree at 15,000 baht a month would hurt the hotel business.

He said this would result in higher operating costs for hotels, at a time when room rates had not increased in the last few years, especially in the three-star category.

“Hotel owners in destinations facing oversupply such as Bangkok, Pattaya and Chiang Mai will want to sell out the business, especially under the current increasing interests from investors from the Middle East and Singapore,” he added.

THA plans to propose that the incoming government to establish a funding scheme, using the some of the hotel tax money collected annually, to finance hotel operators in times of crisis.

It will also urge the government to come down harder on serviced apartments that are illegally competing with hotels by selling daily room rates, as well as counter the deduction of service charge to the social security fund.

By Sirima Eamtako

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