Hotel owners in Pattaya have claimed that they were approached by an unnamed group of people who demanded payments if they were to be selected to become government quarantine centers.
State quarantine facilities, for repatriated Thai citizens, receive 1,000 baht per guest per day from the government while people are staying there during the mandatory 14-day quarantine period.
The hotel owners claim that they told if they pay this group of people 40 percent of the money they will receive from the government that they will be guaranteed to be selected as state quarantine facilities.
However, the Pattaya hoteliers were unhappy with the deal and urged the government to look into why the people involved were demanding money in exchange for this guarantee.
The Thai Government quickly denied any involvement in the matter from legitimate officials and said that Prime Minister, Prayut Chan-o-cha, has ordered an investigation into the claim.
Hotels chosen to become temporary state quarantine facilities must have at least 200 non-carpeted rooms equipped with air-conditioning. Many hotels in Pattaya meet that criteria.
Due to the temporary closure of hotels by the government, it is easy to understand why hotel owners would be eager to earn money through the state quarantine program.
However, Thanate Supornsahatrangsi, the Acting President of the Chonburi Chapter of the Tourism Council of Thailand, said that even though hoteliers are struggling, they did not want to accept such a deal. He said:
“Although they will be paid 1,000 baht per person per day for 14 days, costs of meals are included, not to mention staff and utility costs. Besides, accepting the deal will disqualify their employees from social security benefits.”
The allegations were confirmed by the Chairman of the Pattaya Business Tourism Association (PBTA), Ekkasit Ngampichet, who confirmed that the amount requested varied between 30 and 40 percent. He said:
“Even if a hotel does not meet the criteria, these people promised they could coordinate to make it happen. So it’s possible this is teamwork.”
Prime Minister Prayut has vowed to take tough action against anyone involved as they were taking advantage of people and business operators during a difficult time.
Source: Bangkok Post