Thai Airbnb hosts have served more than 1.2 million guest arrivals over the past 12 months and earned 4 billion baht.
Airbnb’s head of public policy for Southeast Asia, said the Thai host community earned a combined US$119 million (4 billion baht) in supplemental income from February 2017 to February 2018. Ms Goh said the 1.2 million guests represent 66% year-on-year growth in arrivals.
She attributed the growth to the increasing acceptance of the hospitality platform among Thais as an opportunity to earn extra income and welcome guests from around the world.
“There are over 61,400 listings in Thailand on Airbnb, and the median host income averages $2,100 or 67,000 baht annually,” Ms Goh said.
Bangkok and Phuket contributed more than half of host earnings and guest arrivals over the past 12 months. Airbnb hosts in Bangkok earned 1.1 billion baht by sharing their homes with 485,000 guests.
In Phuket, the strong vacation rental market helped generate close to 995 million baht for hosts, with the median host income reaching 108,000 baht annually. Ms Goh said there were more than 4 million guest arrivals in Southeast Asia last year. This strong number reflects an increasing desire among travellers for unique, authentic and independent travel.
Airbnb has said its platform is complementing — rather than competing with — the global hotel industry. Hosts on Airbnb are opening up Thailand to visitors who want to stay in neighbourhoods and communities away from traditional tourist hotspots.
Is AirBnB legal in Thailand ?
Every country has it’s own laws surrounding letting of property, Thailand is no exception. Below is a expert legal opinion from SB Law Asia about the laws regulating AirBnB daily rentals (or lack thereof) in Thailand.
Some cities, such as Paris and Berlin, have specific laws against home sharing and have fined hosts, none has sought to criminally prosecute them in court for providing stays.
Thailand has not introduced any such laws. Thus, the letting of rooms within a unit can only be challenged by existing laws.
The Hotel Act (2004) presents the principal challenge. This law prohibits any premises being used as a hotel without an appropriate licence. It is difficult, if not impossible, for residential owners to obtain such a licence, because the Hotel Act requires that certification of the premises is obtained under the Building Control Act (1979). Those requirements are readily satisfied by purpose built hotels but not for residential premises. The cost of compliance, even if ultimately achievable, is prohibitively expensive.
However, there has been a recent change in the law, which may be of limited assistance. On the 19th August 2016 the Ministry of Interior’s Ministerial Regulations Prescribing Descriptions of Other Types of Building Used for a Hotel Business Operation became effective. It will remain in effect for 5 years and applications under those regulations must be made within that time and applies only to buildings which existed on the above date.