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Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul wants future holidaymakers to flock to Thailand for its beauty and beaches and not its seedy red light districts and world-famous ladyboys. But those working in the industry say any clampdown would devastate the local economy and leave dom chat out of work. Thailand is predominantly Buddhist country and with traditional values, but it is also home to one of the world's most infamous sex industries.
Every year, hordes of tourists flock to the iowa chat lights of go-go bars and massage parlours in Bangkok and other tourist towns. But Tourism Minister Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul had tried to play down the role of the sex industry in drawing visitors.
Prostitution is actually illegal in Thailand but the law is almost invariably ignored - mainly because of police corruption.
The military government is in denial about the proliferation chat us free prostitution and its contribution to the economy and tourism, said Panomporn Utaisri of NightLight, a Christian non-profit group that helps women in the sex trade to find alternative work. There are no government estimates of the value of Thailand's sex industry, or how much of the income from tourism comes from sex tourists.
The tourism sector s for about 10 percent of gross domestic product and sex worker groups said the minister's vision of a prostitution-free Thailand would dent that. Many sex workers come from the impoverished northeast and see selling their bodies as a way out of poverty.
Other travel sectors including wedding and honeymoon tourism, and eco-tourism, are also being pursued. in.
Thai go go girls
All Football. Jon Lockett.
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