Pattaya – Representatives of tourism bodies at this seaside tourist city revealed that a gang had contacted them asking for 40% kickback out of 1,000 baht person per day allocated by the government for quarantining Thai returnees for 14 days at suitable establishments, PostToday reported this morning (23.5.2020).
This budget for state quarantine would be spent on around 70 to 80,000 Thais returning from overseas with concerned agencies told to select suitable places for their confinement.
According the criteria, the chosen hotel must have over 200 rooms, not be carpeted, each room has to have a separate air-conditioner and hold a valid licence to operate in Pattaya.
As this tourist city has many hotels, 10,000 rooms from various hotels have already been approved for this purpose.
However, representatives of Thai Hotel Association Eastern Chapter, Pattaya Business and Tourism Association and Chonburi Tourism Industry Council revealed that a group of people, from an unknown agency, had contacted many large hotels in Pattaya claiming that they are the ones deciding which hotels will be selected for state quarantine of Thai returnees.
The hoteliers were told that if they gave 40% commission, they would get the state budget of 1,000 baht per person per day with this being better than leaving rooms empty.
Mr Thanet Supornsahatrangsi, acting president of the Chonburi Tourism Industry Council, said although he had earlier been contacted by a state agency about this programme, many big hotels felt that 1,000 baht per person per day was too low a sum to cover three meals a day, wages plus electricity and water charges and cleanliness for 24 hours over 14 days.
Nevertheless Thai Hotel Association Eastern Chapter and Pattaya Business and Tourism Association did sent the names of 20 hotels interested in joining the programme, but there was no inspection of these establishments. Thai returnees have now been brought to stay at many Pattaya hotels but it is not certain what standard they are.
Pattaya Business and Tourism Association President Ekasit Ngampichet said a similar group of people had contacted him and asked for a deduction of 30-40% to arrange state quarantine at member hotels. They even said that they could get hotels that do not meet the criteria approved.
He added that this group is working as a team but he does not know whether anyone is involved or not.
Top: Representatives of Pattaya hotels bodies talk to the Press about kickbacks that a certain group of people had asked in return for arranging state quarantine at member hotels. Photo: PostToday