The tourist industry of Thailand is experiencing a fast recovery in 2023 after the end of the pandemic. The Ministry of Commerce of Thailand announced that in the first 4 months of 2023, the number of company registrations in the tourist and hospitality sector surged reaching 2,579 with an increase of registered capitalization of 6.66 billion baht. Thailand welcomed almost 10 million tourist this year till May 2023 generating 391 billion baht and the forecast for the upcoming months looks even better.
In this excellent momentum for the tourist sector after the dark years of the pandemic, H&P corporate lawyers in Bangkok would like to give a new glance of the most relevant licenses for this sector.
Anyone wishing to do a tourism business in Thailand must register with the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) and The Department of Business Development under the Ministry of Commerce (DBD). Those two public regulators are the one who supervise the tourism industry to protect both: the customer and the entrepreneur in this key industry of Thailand.
A business in the tourist industry can be registered by two types of legal entities. The first one is an ordinary partnership where the operator is an individual person. The second one is via a limited liability company what is the most common legal entity used by foreign investors to do business in Thailand.
The lack of registration under the Tourism Authority of Thailand will make the entrepreneur to be unable to operate a tourist business and they might be punished under Thai Law. The qualifications for applying for a tourism business license are:
-Having Thai nationality or be a company registered under Thai Law.
-The director should have Thai Nationality
-Have a domicile or residence in the Kingdom of Thailand.
Must not be bankrupt or under receivership.
-Must not be an incompetent or quasi-incompetent person.
-Must not be a person whose tourism business license is suspended or guide license and who never had a tourism business license revoked or guide license. Still, if the license has been revoked, it must have been revoked for at least 5 years up to the date of application for a tourism business license.
Moreover, the tour company should have an insurance against accidents, with the sum insured in case of death, loss of organs or disability not less than one million baht per person and case of injury not less than 500,000 baht per person.
Finally, by the Ministerial Regulation issued on May 1, 2020, there was an amendment in terms of the guarantee amount for the tourism business. Tour operators must be registered and deposit an insurance with the Office of Tourism Business, divided into 4 types as follows:
Tourism business license for a specific area, must deposit money as collateral in the amount of 3,000 baht, which can operate a tourism business only in the registered province and the neighboring provinces specified but cannot sell tours online.
A domestic tourism business license (Domestic) requires a deposit of 15,000 baht as collateral and can operate a tourism business in Thailand in every province but not allowed to engage with travelling abroad, which can serve both Thai and foreign tourists but cannot sell tours online.
Foreign tourism business license (Inbound) must deposit a deposit of 30,000 baht as a guarantee by bringing tourists from abroad to travel within Thailand. They can operate a tourism business in Thailand in every province without being allowed to travel abroad, which can serve Thai and foreign tourists and sell travel guides online.
Foreign tourism business license (Outbound) requires a deposit of 60,000 baht as collateral, able to operate both domestic and international tourism businesses. They can provide service for both Thai and foreign tourists and they can sell travel guides online.
If you are planning to set up a tourism business in Thailand, please contact our law firm in Bangkok at [email protected]