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It's not just the military that's scaring away tourists

Re: "An open letter to ambassadors, international media", Letters, June 11.

William E Heinecke's open letters to ambassadors are becoming as regular a feature of Bangkok life as, say, corruption, traffic jams and cockroaches. In this instance, it is difficult to disagree with some of his points. However, for "principle and integrity" to be wholly effective, they must not only be applied by Western governments and the media but also throughout the entire hospitality industry of Thailand.

Consider the rising incidence of illegal hotels, the growing disregard for public health and safety on hotel property, the tourist scams, extortion and avoidable deaths, and the intimidation of guests and neighbouring residents by international hospitality corporations that are now more interested in profit than service.

Without industry-wide honesty and incorruptibility, tourists (and maybe even expatriates) will eventually choose to go elsewhere, including the moon. Yes, all parties, together with those Mr Heinecke claims to represent, need to think hard about the detrimental effect their words, actions and inaction can have.

John Shepherd

Bangkok


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