It was the latter remark that launched a flurry of diplomatic memos that resulted in the government’s formal apology to the Kingdom, and prompted Thailand’s official tourism body to go on the record that it “strongly opposes any form of sex tourism.”
Opposed or not, Thailand’s sex tourism industry is valued at $6.4 billion a year in revenue as of 2015, in spite of its fringing illegality. Experts warn that the industry has been so tolerated that it is today deeply entrenched, and efforts at regulation should be attempted in lieu of total shutdown. Sudden restrictions, they claim, will likely move the industry underground, increasing risks like disease, fraud, and exploitation among both workers and patrons alike and could encourage human trafficking.
Regardless of where you stand on the issue, the sex tourism industry in Thailand is a significant, if tangential, component of Thailand’s vibrant history, and all roads lead Read More