HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:

How will Chiang Mai handle a large influx of tourists?

Disabled sportspeople deserve more recognition

How will Chiang Mai handle a large influx of tourists?

To Chiangmai Mailbag. Maybe as a forum?

The government of Thaksin Shinawatra, himself a native of Chiang Mai, has approved and is implementing huge budget development projects for Chiang Mai. His objective is to make Chiang Mai a regional hub for the GMS (Greater Mekong Sub-region). As a result of the surge in development in the north, and in anticipation of plane loads of low cost airline supplied tourists arriving in Chiang Mai, the hotel sector has gone into overdrive.

There are at least 11 new four and five star hotels under construction, many on prime locations in the downtown area.

The questions the industry is now asking of course are:

* With all these hotel rooms coming on line, in a city that tourist visitors are increasingly starting to dislike because of its loss of tradition, culture and charm, who is going to stay in these rooms?

* If the tourist visitors decide not to come, or do not come in the numbers projected, how can the old and new hotels ensure that they maintain viable hotel rates - when they have historically been unable to do so?

* How will these new hotel properties be staffed with trained English language proficient staff without stealing them from the existing hotels who themselves have staffing problems?

* Given the infrastructure problems of the downtown area (narrow roads, poor drainage, traffic congestion, lack of parking and so on) how is the infrastructure going to cope with the projected increase in traffic volume?

* What five star tourist attractions and activities are being proposed, planned or implemented to meet the demands these five star guests are going to make?

This is just an extract from a detailed report on ĎRedeveloping & Repositioning Chiang Maií, and the full report is available in a pdf.file format from [email protected]

Your comments are very welcome!
Shane K. Beary
Track of the Tiger

Disabled sportspeople deserve more recognition

The Editor,
Itís not fair for the disabled - Now people say, "We should give the disabled a chance," right? Sure they can say anything but they donít do what they say. There is still a lot of injustice in Thailand. For example, in the Olympic Games in Greece, most people were only interested in the Olympics. They forgot that they had the Paralympics too. The reason is itís a game for the disabled.

They think it canít be interesting new for a normal person. So they do not present them as much as they could have.

In my opinion I think all of the disabled sportspeople have a lot of skills (maybe they have much more than normal sportspeople) because they have had less of a chance than able people.

So to be a sportsperson is the most difficult thing for them. On the other hand, if you want to be a sportspeople you just train yourself in the skills you need and then join competitions and try to be the winner. Thatís it! for being a sportsperson.

For the disabled they never want to receive compassion but they just want to be social like everybody else. They have the right to do as everyone else.

Why werenít we interested in watching their dreams come true?

By Jeerapun Khongbangpor "Kate"
From Thaksin University Songkhla