LETTERS
HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:

We don’t want you anymore?

Looking for “clear and comprehensive” instructions

Thank you officer

Hot times at Chiang Mai Airport

Have a look; see who Chiang Mai’s tourists really are

We don’t want you anymore?

The Editor,
Regarding the article: Cooperation is the key for city’s tourism industry, CMM No. 28, page 4. Reading the article twice I still do not understand who is the more stupid at that seminar - the speaker of the TTBA or the graduate students of CMU Tourism Industry School? Chiang Mai does not like backpackers anymore? They only want wealthy tourists?

And these wealthy tourists you put in the back of a tuk-tuk and drive them through potholes in the rain. When I read this I think it is a red alert to enhance the worldview of local youth, and local leaders and to enrich their cultural kaleidoscope. To do so effective and cheap is to force the ‘stuck up’ students, teachers and leaders to participate in intercultural events, to be part of a ‘world community’, to develop a vibrant environment and look at Chiang Mai with the eyes of a visitor.

It is by far not a town for 5 star tourists, but it could easily be as the potentials are there. It is not a typical backpacker tourist destination but it has all segments which are needed. And believe me; one does not exclude the other. Some cities in Europe are heaven and a must for backpackers but as well for the well paying tourist, like the French Cote Azur or Rome. But the leaders should encourage dismissing terms like ‘we don’t want you anymore’ to whoever. It could backfire! What would Chiang Mai do without them?

Rather enhance the cosmopolitan image, attract overseas tourists (normal backpackers, backpackers who fulfill their dream of youth, and five star hotel tourists) and welcome them whilst retaining the northern heritage and cleaning up the city.

By the way: Thank you Chiangmai Mail for giving us these reports without overlooking these remarks and to report from these kinds of meetings rather than just telling us how beautiful everything is!
Best from Chiang Rai,
Remy L. Craigs


Looking for “clear and comprehensive” instructions

Editor;
I read with interest Dean Swift’s letter in the July 10 issue. I have been applying for and receiving a one year’s visa extension for over seven years based on first retirement and for the past four years based on marriage to a Thai national. While I never “whined” about it, it was a bit frustrating to have the rules and necessary documents changed every year.

Several months ago, I started collecting information from various sources including the interview with the head of Chiang Mai Immigration and articles published in The Nation’s Farang Affairs page. Many differences. I thought I would get the real information from the immigration police’s web site at www.imm3.police.go.th

It didn’t work out that way. On the web site, there are words such as “a copy of passport”, “bank statement with a certified letter”, “photo”, etc. When I learned the English language in The US many years ago, I was taught that these words mean “one”. Figuring that the web site must be correct, I went to Chiang Mai Immigration with one copy of each document. I was told very politely that no matter what the web site said, two copies were necessary.

In addition, although the web site was silent on the issue, I was relatively sure that I would need some sort of proof of monthly income, so went prepared. I will say that the application process took less time than in the past; there is still the “application under consideration” stamp in my passport with the instructions to return in one month. I was under the impression that extensions were now approved at the local immigration office and not sent to Bangkok. Perhaps not. I have no information concerning the process at other offices, only my personal experience here in Chiang Mai.

My only question to Mr. Swift is where did he find a “clear and comprehensive set of requirements”, as I have yet to see one.

Let me close by saying that as always I was treated very well by the immigration officers.
Walter Harwood


Thank you officer

Editor;
I am most grateful to the traffic policeman on duty at the intersection of Srimonklajan and Huay Kaew Road on Saturday July 10, at around 7 p.m. And to a wonderful lady who appeared from nowhere to help me move my car out of the traffic to the curb. It had stalled and then completely stopped at the junction. I do not know the officer’s name. The very kind lady gave me her card but in the confusion of the evening it was lost. I do hope both read this and know they are in my heart as two of the many wonderful people in Chiang Mai.
H.C. Graves, Jr.


Hot times at Chiang Mai Airport

Dear Sir,
Reading your newspaper, it seems that Chiang Mai airport wants to be thought of as the aviation hub of the north. It has a long way to go. Last Saturday I flew from the airport in the afternoon. The air-conditioning was not working in the departure lounges (if you can call the dirty, dingy areas with seats as lounges). Did our aviation hub do anything about this? Were there fans produced for the wilting passengers? Were there apologies announced over the PA system? No there were not. We just sat and fanned ourselves and boiled. This passenger boiled so much, I have written to you. Aviation hub? Aviation backwater more like it!
“Overheated”


Have a look; see who Chiang Mai’s tourists really are

Editor,
I am sure the guest houses, noodle stands, local pubs and restaurants, elephant riding camps, and trekking tour guides will be happy to hear that those in charge of tourism only want the upper income tourist, not backpackers to visit Chiang Mai.

Speaking as a business owner, the backbone of Chiang Mai’s tourism is the backpacker! Well-heeled tourists stay in upscale hotels that are sometimes foreign owned which means sometimes their tourist dollar goes outside of Chiang Mai.

Backpackers, instead, spend their money with local business owners. My business is located close to several upscale hotels. Rarely do I see the well-heeled tourist walking the street. Backpackers are young, educated, and most come from well-heeled families. My business and others businesses surrounding me depend on them for our livelihood.

I suggest the graduate students of Chiang Mai University’s Tourism Management School take a field trip and see exactly who are Chiang Mai’s tourists!
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