Destinations

Thailand clamps down on “sex tourism”

It’s one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations thanks to its delicious food, sandy white beaches, and buzzing cities.

But now, Thailand wants to change its reputation.

The South-East Asian country, which is set bring in a record 37.55 million tourists this year, wants to shirk the label as a nation of “sex tourism”.

Making-over this ‘sex’ image of Thailand has been a longtime goal of the country, however, was thrust into the public light again last week when Thai police arrested a group of 10 Russians who, according to Channel NewsAsia, “were running a sex training class”.

As a result of this arrest, the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) released this statement:

“The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) ensures that its marketing strategy and policy to move Thailand forward as the ‘Quality Destination’ has stepped in the right direction … and strongly opposes any form of sex tourism.”

As per Channel NewsAsia, parlours offering “soapy massages” as well as “happy ending” massages have amped up Thailand’s reputation as a sex destination.

There are about 123,530 sex workers in Thailand, according to a 2014 UNAIDS report.

In the statement last week, TAT Governer Yuthasak Supasorn said the country places huge importance on its tourism industry as a means of livelihood for many Thai and international people.

“As the Thai government’s official body promoting Thailand to international and local travellers while supporting the development of the country’s tourism industry for nearly 58 years, our mission is to highlight tourism’s importance to national economic development, job creation, income distribution, and the prominent role it plays in enhancing social integration and preserving the environment. 

“Over the past few years, TAT has actively focused on promoting Thailand as a ‘Quality Leisure Destination’ that highlights a new era of tourism as measured by visitor expenditure, the average length of stay, and the overall quality of visitor experience,” Supasorn added.

The statement also comments on Gambia as the West African country’s tourism minister recently told tourists to go to Thailand for sex instead of visiting the country.

Meanwhile, Thailand’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has stepped forward to take an official action against the Gambian tourism minister’s baseless comment on Thailand’s tourism,” the statement said.

“A formal letter of protest has been filed from the Embassy of Thailand to the Republic of Senegal, which is also responsible for neighbouring Gambia, and the Embassy of Thailand to Malaysia where the Gambian High Commission also takes care of Thailand,” it added. 

Thailand’s ongoing efforts to move from mass to ‘quality’ tourism is successfully producing positive results with the Kingdom ranked third in global tourism revenue for 2017 by the United Nations’ World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO).  

Last year, the Thai tourism industry recorded the highest revenue in its history, achieving tourism receipts totalling 1.82 trillion Baht (US$ 53.76 billion), a 11.66 per cent year-on-year increase, from 35.3 million international tourist arrivals (up 8.7 per cent).

Domestic tourism revenue also reached 695.5 billion Baht (US$ 20.5 billion) from 192.2 million trips. 

SEE WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING

3 responses to “Thailand clamps down on “sex tourism””

Leave a Reply

Hotels

Accor to open three more Sebel properties in Australia and New Zealand

If you miss the thrill of hotel inspections while on famils, we promise this article is full of spiffy snaps of hotel rooms to lose yourself in while you procrastinate your Thursday away.

Share

CommentComments

Cruise

Regent Seven Seas breaks bookings record with 2022/23 Voyage Collection

Need proof that travellers are still keen to cruise? Check out this champagne-popping moment from a luxury cruise line’s collection release.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

Go on a safari in Sri Lanka from the comfort of your own couch

Couch potatoes, rejoice! You can take a tour of some of Sri Lanka’s most wild national parks from the comfort of your lounge room.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Women from 10 flights taken for invasive medical examinations in Qatar, says Australia’s Foreign Affairs Minister

More troubling details have emerged over the Qatar airport incident involving a number of Australian women.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

Tasmania plans to reopen to NSW from early November

by Christian Fleetwood

Have your NSW clients been yearning for a quarantine-free trip to Tasmania? Well, they can consider this an early Christmas present from Premier Gutwein.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Qantas and Virgin announce new Aussie routes

Tell your clients to pack their bags, because the two airlines have added a range of new local routes, reintroductions and expanded services.

Share

CommentComments

Midweek Interview

Life in the time of COVID-19 with YTL Hotels’ Luke Hurford

We caught up with YTL Hotels’ senior vice president of strategy to find out how he’s been faring during the pandemic. However, it was hard to hear him through the layer of snow he keeps on his face.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

“GREAT SUCCESS”: Kazakhstan cashes in on new Borat film in latest tourism campaign

In some very nice news for Sacha Baron Cohen fans, it looks like Borat’s home country has finally decided to accept him… sort of.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Plane passenger slaps flight attendant after refusing to wear a mask

Just in case you need another reason to hate anti-maskers, have a geeze at this video of an unruly passenger’s shocking behaviour.

Share

CommentComments

Cruise

Princess Cruises pushes back its pause on local sailings

Meanwhile, Travel Weekly has extended its pause on office drinks after a particularly bad incident involving a pot plant and copious amounts of slivovitz.

Share

CommentComments

Road & Rail

TUNE IN: New TV show to highlight Australia’s ‘Roads Less Travelled’

Get the popcorn ready and watch the client inquiries roll in, because Network 10 is debuting a new show that places domestic travel front and centre.

Share

CommentComments

Wholesalers

Globus and Cosmos launch new Australian and NZ tours

This press release was accompanied by a couple of bottles of wine from the good folk at GFOB, and Travel Weekly’s editor is already on the seocnd one, so please excuse any typos.

Share

CommentComments