Re: "What next for tourism sector?" (Editorial, Sept 27).
Thailand deserves congratulations for virtually eradicating Covid 19. Unfortunately, the government has done the same to tourism, with immense long-lasting damage to the economy.
The restrictive visa rules are reminiscent of the immigration bureau mindset of being as awkward and inflexible as possible (unless of course you use an agent). Why would anyone want to come here on holiday?
Cooking golden goose
To emphasise Flopsie's "Big Joke, no joke" and Yankeleh's "No common sense" (BP, Sept 26), the damage done by Big Joke and immigration policies toward foreigners in general is apparent in their own statistics.
According to immigration bureau's own figures "Hotel urge open market" (Business section, Sept 3), long-term foreign residents in major destinations dropped by 43.5% to 146,483 in 2019 compared to the previous year.
So, chasing the good guys out by changing long-stay requirements and suspecting any Westerner to be a criminal did the trick in decimating this all-important expat group.
Another 100,000 could have been here now to support these hard-hit destinations. Maybe someone should be held accountable?
Cost of isolation
It looks like Covid is going to stay around. The much heralded vaccine will almost surely not be a total fix. Its time to decide what the risks are and are we going to take them. There is as much chance of returning immigrant labour bringing the virus as there is of tourists. Isolation will cost Thailand a fortune.
Re: "Land cleared for high-speed rail project", (BP, Sept 24).
Let's hope that the speed in clearing land for the "high-speed" rail project doesn't foreshadow the speed of the trains themselves. Labourers have taken an astonishing two years to clear three-and-a-half kilometres of test line in Nakhon Ratchasima. At this pace of work, land clearing for a line from Bangkok to Nong Khai would take more than 350 years to complete. A line from Bangkok to Chiang Mai would require nearly 400 years.
Of course, considering that Thailand really has little or no need for such high-speed trains, the pace of construction seems quite appropriate.
Samanea Saman said in a Sept 26 letter, "A for audacious", that the US has had the most coronavirus deaths per capita of any nation in the world. This just isn't true. Peru, Belgium, Bolivia, Chile, Spain, Ecuador, Brazil and the United Kingdom all have higher deaths per capita than the US. Within the United States, states run by Democrats have significantly higher death rates than states with Republican governors.
Regarding the publication of my letter on Sept 26 regarding vaccines, I find the "chapeau" inappropriate. I never wrote Mr Bahrt's opinion was "worthless", as mentioned in the headline. He's just objectionable. Mr Bahrt's opinion is as respectable as any other, even if one may not agree with it. To call him "worthless" is bordering on the insulting.
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