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Sex Tourism Case Study

Thailand, one of the top five tourist destinations in Southeast Asia and the most popular holiday destination for young tourists, provides tropical forests, dazzling beaches, coral reefs, Thai cuisines and definitely sex tourism. This paper summarised the root causes of sex exploitation and gender differences in sex tourist motivations.

Key words: Thailand, sex tourism, prostitution, negative image, poverty, gender differences, motivations, children protection

Sex tourism, with commercial nature, is people from developed countries travelling to underdeveloped countries to consummate the sexual services of locals, according to Horner and Swarbrooke (2004). Nuttavuthisit (2007) noted the sex tourism industry takes various forms ranging from the production of videos, through to nude dancing, and tourism-related prostitution. It is one of niche tourism as it focuses on very precise small markets - the sex tourists. Currently, sex tourism is a million-dollar industry, particularly in some underprivileged nations around the world. People go over to foreign countries in what appears to be usual holidaymakers but indeed they are sex tourists, since they purchase sexual relations with local sex workers. The pull factors, according to Ryan and Hall (2001), were illegal sexual activities in home country and much lower price in sex tourism destination.

In Thailand, sex tourist is an important component of international tourism marketing. Nuttavuthisit (2007) argued the sex tourism was originated in the Vietnam War between 1960s and 1970s. US soldiers and American servicemen were major customers for Rest and Recreation (R&R). The involving number of prostitutes has growing rapidly from 20,000 to 400,000. Afterwards, Thailand has been associated with sexual paradise through word of mouth and media promotion.

Obviously, sex tourism had brought related problems. Thailand was one of the first Asian countries to be affected by AIDS in 1987, with a number of at least 2.5 million in the year of 2000, according to World Health Organization (2000). Combined with negative image, sex tourism became an issue of wide public concern and there has been a drop in tourist arrivals in Thailand, especially the family tourists (Nuttavuthisit, 2007).

Additionally, gay sex tourism and child sex tourism are very common in Thailand as well. Simply, gay sex tourism is for gays. Since the homosexuality became much broader accepted all over the world, there are more and more gays and lesbians tourists participate in sex tourism. Specifically in Thailand, according to Clift et al (2009), no laws against homosexual acts, gay host bars, and the Bangkok Gay Festival and Thai attitude towards homosexuality facilitated the growth of gay sex tourism. While, child sex tourism, tourists travel to foreign nations to engage in sexual activity with children, is another controversial issue, with approximately 2 million children are involved in illegal child sex tourism all over the world and 40 per cent of prostitutes in Thailand are children (Sex Tourism, 2009). On one hand, push factors of child sex tourism including lack of love and care; need for money and other basic needs; want for better life and family encouragement. On the other hand, pull factors including perception about tourists being wealthy; love and care shown by the tourist; money, food or clothes given by the tourists; instances of genuine help received from tourists and; prestige indeed encourage children being prostitutes. This was proved by Horner and Swarbrooke (2004).

Poverty, government actions and Internet are three major forces encourage sex tourism development in Thailand. First of all, poverty appears to be a significant root cause to push women and children into sex trade. With limited purchasing power, Thai women migrated to cities but there were only few industrial job opportunities; therefore, sex tourism is a way out of poverty. Nuttavuthisit (2007) stated that many sex workers in Thailand were engaged in the business to work off their families' debts and to sustain their family units in a rural economy and children themselves need money to meet their expenses because of an increasing culture of consumption and their high living expenses in a materialistic world. Secondly, profit stimulation blinded Thai government to the sex tourism industry. Without enough cooperation, coordination and assistance, the changing efforts eventually were in vain, even if they had tried. Finally, websites provide lots of picture and words about sex tourism, including previous experiences and bargain skills. Convenient access marketing channel and misleading information result in potential devastating impacts, according to Sex Tourism (2009).

Traditionally, the term 'sex tourism' is regarded as male clients for female sex workers; however, thousands of female are now increasingly becoming sex tourists in a large number. As for motivations, 'male sex tourists prefer to look purely for sexual encounters with strangers whether this is through brothels, strip clubs or local prostitutes' (Dabphet, 2010, p.3). Clift et al (2002) stated that female sex tourists were significantly more motivated to look for holiday romance. Overall, Horner and Swarbrooke (2004) strengthened that reasons why people participate in sex tourism is very personal and individual's reasons are distinctive.

To sum up, sex tourism is the oldest and controversial issue in tourism and will remain a subject of future fierce debate in children protection.

Horner, S., and Swarbrooke, J. (2004) International Cases in Tourism Management Oxford: Elsevier Butterworth-Heinemann

Nuttavuthisit, K. (2007) Branding Thailand: Correcting the Negative Image of Sex Tourism, Place Branding and Public Diplomacy, Vol. 3. pp. 21-30.

Sex Tourism (2009) Sex Tourism Industry [online]. [Accessed 18 March 2011] Available at: http://www.sextourism.net.

The author of this discussion paper has specified the effects of sex tourism in Thailand. Sex tourism in this destination has been explained in a very detailed way and has deeply related to the topics and the different methods of sex tourism which impacts upon a destination. As mentioned the majority of the impacts appear to be of a negative nature as this sex tourism started with the Vietnam War, when US soldiers and American servicemen were major customers for rest and recreation, it's increased the ratio and possibilities of sex tourism in Thailand. It has also other negative effects such as Thailand was the first Asian country to have an increase in AIDS.

The author has mentioned in the main body "Sex tourism, with commercial nature, is people from developed countries travelling to underdeveloped countries to consummate the sexual services of locals" however this is not truly the case as sex tourism and its services a largely available in developed cities such as "Amsterdam, Las Vegas" etc.

In order to the author case studies highlighted the strength of pull factors that helps the sex tourism destination attractions "Noted the sex tourism industry takes various forms ranging from the production of videos, through to nude dancing, and tourism-related prostitution". Such methods are very effective methods in advertising and marketing sex tourism and its services. Nude videos and nude dancing creates a sense of persuasiveness and attractions to the eye of the customers.

In this case study, the author mentioned about the gays and gays tourism in Thailand, more child sex and need of child sex for the tourist from the different part of the world who focusing gay prostitution and child sex, in order to the authors case study paper 40% of prostitution in Thailand is child sex tourism. Government of Thailand should not encourage the child sex prostitution, it may affect the children's future and moreover it affects the upcoming generation in Thailand. The author specified about three major forces that encourage sex tourism and prostitution in Thailand. First of all, the poverty situation in Thailand forces the women and children to go into sex industry so that they can fend for themselves and their family. This industry has profited the country economically in vast amount hence the Thai government would and have been easy on the laws regarding sex tourism. The websites contain the pictures and videos are a significant attraction. The website also contain participant with several experience as means of persuasive methods. The author mentioned and explained about the sex tourism and impacts.

Overall, the way in which the author has used real facts that currently seen in Thailand. In order to the case study and examples shows through the report, the government of Thailand is promoting prostitution, gay sexual activities and child sex prostitution. Government of Thailand is supporting the sex tourism and sex tourists from different countries to Bangkok and to Thailand's small cities. The revenue of government will increase through promoting sex tourism.

- Грег, тебе придется придумать что-нибудь получше. Между шифровалкой и стоянкой для машин не менее дюжины вооруженных охранников. - Я не такой дурак, как вы думаете, - бросил Хейл.

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