Landlords and properties owners were instructed to report any foreign tenants renting their accommodations within 24 hours in the wake of capturing suspects responsible for the deadly Erawan Shrine bombing, and amidst some long-planned regulation breaks aimed at spurring tourism and welcoming the AEC.
In fact, the law to report foreign tenants has been in place for some time now.
According to section 38 of the 1979 immigration act:
“House owners, heads of households, landlords or managers of hotels who House owners, heads of household, landlords or managers of hotels who accommodate foreign nationals on a temporary basis who stay in the kingdom legally, must notify the local immigration authorities within 24 hours from the time of arrival of the foreign national” (source)
Holidaymakers and foreigners have largely been unaware of this bylaw and their stays unaffected as landlords and even hotels have mostly chosen to rely only on standard booking and documentation procedures practiced at any reputable accommodation venue around the world.
Take into account: there were 17.5 million tourists in Thailand between January-July 2015, up by 30 percent in visitor numbers and tourism revenue from last year, and authorities are expecting 30 million visitors by the end of this year.
The government directive comes at a time when public safety became paramount after an unprecedented and isolated bombing that occurred at the popular tourist site the Erawan Shrine on August 17th killing 6 Thais and 14 foreign nationals.
It also comes at a time when the government has made it more convenient for visitors staying in Thailand and playing its role to encourage AEC integration with the easing of such tourism by-laws;
- Tourists from 49 visa-exempt countries have had their allowable stay extended from 30 days to 90 days
- The government approval of extending multiple-entry tourists visas from 3 months to 6 months
- Permitting online 90-day reporting for foreigners