Stickman Readers' Submissions March 29th, 2004

Aiming For Quality

Aiming for (quality) tourists : BIG mistake, first clean up your act!

Hi everyone, I've just returned from the LOS. I was there 2 1/2 months, 4 days in Pattaya "not my thing" and the rest of the time in Koh Samui and at the end 2 days in Bangkok "hi graham" and in that time I've come to realise that Thailand can and will never be a place for QUALITY tourists that the Thai government is trying to attract.

He Clinic Bangkok

I've been coming to Thailand for the last 5 years now so let me justify the reasoning behind my conclusions. Most of my time in Thailand has always been spent on Samui and though I partake in the illicit and illegal nightlife it has never been the sole reason for my love of Thailand. The Thai government is trying to change the image that the world has of Thailand and while it is in itself commendable, it is in itself just that. An IMAGE change without the deep and dedicated investment in education and infrastructure.

A perfect example of this mentality is on the island of Koh Samui, the highest tourist growth in Thailand. Land prices and rent costs have shot up in the last 3 years. New buildings have thus sprung up at an alarming and frightening rate, which in itself may not sound so bad but the annoying thing is that while more and more objects are being built the problems that have always been there not only remain but are getting worse. In the summer there is regularly a drought in the high season, power cuts are getting MORE frequent not less through the through the increase in buildings and when it rains the drains flood leaving you walking outside your 5 star hotel in 1 foot of sewage, as not only are the pipes to small they are also full of sand. Also as the are no life guards on the beach, at least 2 people drown every month.

The government has announced plans to build a new 5 million baht airport to make it easier for more "better class tourists" to come to the island but there are no plans to address the problems at hand. Thailand lost the quality high class tourists years ago without even knowing it. It then moved onto the backpacker and sex tourists who are now slowly feeling unwelcome through visa restrictions, higher prices and restrictive licensing laws. The married couples which are the new target of Thai tourism are thereby caught in a dilemma. They see the travel catalogues with descriptions of beautiful beaches, a rich cultural heritage, world class hotels, wonderful shopping and a rich and varied nightlife. Beaches, littered and unguarded heritage, outside Bangkok, usually unmaintained and falling apart hotels. Put your toilet paper in the overflowing bucket by the side shopping, lots of fakes and illegal objects which may be confiscated at customs, nightlife, lady bars at every corner and if you want to have a night out on the tiles, tough shit you've only got 24? 1 ? 2 ?

CBD bangkok

In conclusion. ALL people go on holiday to relax and enjoy themselves. Thailand should try to invest more on the infrastructure rather than curbing enjoyment that brings so many varied people for so many varied reasons to Thailand.

Stickman says:

I couldn't agree more. A few months back I wrote that Thailand is a great place for a holiday but it is endlessly frustrating that problems that existed years ago still exist now. Some problems could be easily sorted out but the Thais seem to refuse to do so.

nana plaza