Another misguided policy decision?
Following a recent holiday in Thailand, I wish to comment on an article that appeared in your paper while we were travelling around. The title was "Govt to crack down on unlicensed hotels".
It would appear from the story that, as of next year, the government intends to regulate the guesthouse and hotel industry in such a way as to force out all the small family-run operators in favour of the large multinational hotel chains. I can only see that this will reduce the amount of revenue the government and hotels will receive because hordes of tourists will simply not be able to stay in Thailand. Based on the article's statement that the cost of accommodation in Bangkok should be around US$220 per night, I would expect that a large percentage of tourists will simply find alternative destinations for their holidays. I expect surrounding countries such as Myanmar, Laos, Vietnam, Indonesia and Cambodia will definitely benefit, along with the remaining multinational hotel chains, who are presumably represented by the president of the hotels' association, Surapong Techaruvichit.
This would seem to me to be about reducing free enterprise, and will result in large numbers of unemployed family operators, which can hardly benefit the wider community of Thailand. I suspect the next step may be to crack down on small fresh-food sellers and others in favour of large supermarket chains.
This is a path with which older residents of many Western countries are familiar, and ultimately leads to a country of employees rather than self-employed, and eventually reduces the skills of people to a very narrow band, which fits with whatever the large companies and industries want.
I can only hope the move fails totally and the existing system of true free enterprise continues, since it appears to have created a relatively stable and happy workforce that should be the envy of many so-called advanced nations.