The sun is not shining on Thailand’s Airbnb properties


Travelers rely on Airbnbs across the world, but Thailand is clamping down. Source: Shutterstock

A THAILAND court has declared Airbnb bookings illegal for those who rent out rooms via Airbnb on a daily or weekly basis.

The court ruling was made by a judge in the Hua Hin district of Pra Khiri Khan province on Thailand’s western peninsula.

For now, the ruling only applies to those in the Pra Khiri Khan province, and for rentals of less than 30 days.

According to Bangkok Post, property owners are fearful the ruling will carry strict punishments, leading to businesses on Airbnb closing and customers having nowhere to stay.

What’s happened so far?

The first to feel the force of the ruling is the owners of  Wan Vayla Condon in Kao Tao in three separate rulings.

The owners of the condo had to pay a THB5,000 (US$155.59) fine plus a further THB500 (US$15.56) fine for every day of a 20-day stay in the first case.

For another one of their properties, the court is making them pay another THB5,000 fine and 100 baht (US$3.11) for a staggering 81-day period.

The third case is still pending.

Up until now, there have been no rulings against Airbnb. Property owners insist their businesses are legal and Airbnb actively promotes business in Thailand.

However, Airbnb’s grey area occurs in the policies of the buildings the apartments are being rented out in.

Renters are supposed to ask the permission of every other resident of the building before leasing properties on Airbnb.

Equally, Airbnb has proven to come at a cost for hoteliers across the nation. The Thai Hotels Association has requested the government to close non-registered hotels including Airbnb apartment and condominiums, Bangkok Post reported.

What does this mean for you?

If you’re traveling to Thailand and worrying about the looming prospect of short-term Airbnb rentals being banned, just look for alternatives.

Because there are plenty.

While Airbnb has revolutionized the accommodation market, it isn’t the only platform available to travelers.

Bangkok, the capital of Thailand recently became the most visited city in the world. It was the first Asian nation to top Forbes’ list.

With around 22 million visitors to the city and 35 million total international tourists in 2017, Thailand has invested and continues to invest in tourism its infrastructure.

If you’re a backpacker traveling to Thailand but don’t want to slum it in some back alley hostel, look at high-end hostels offering, comfort, cleanliness, safety, and like-minded guests.

Pajamas Hostel on Koh Chang island offers all this and is more of a boutique hotel than a backpacker’s property.

Alternatively, treat yourself.

Thailand boasts some of the world’s most luxurious hotels. From Banyan Tree Phuket to the spiritually connect Kamalaya hotel on Koh Samui.

Clamping down on Airbnb in Thailand won’t jeopardize your trip, just plan ahead to find the perfect place for the perfect price.