Tourism minister: “Thailand closed to sex trade”

First female tourism minister targets parlours and brothels
Following a series of police raids on massage parlours and brothels this summer, Thailand says it will eradicate its sex tourism industry as it tries to reinvent itself as a more female-friendly travel destination.
Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul, the country’s first female tourism minister, says this is the only way to stop Thailand’s problems with human trafficking and underage sex workers.
“We want Thailand to be about quality tourism. We want the sex industry gone,” Kobkarn told Reuters news agency. “Tourists don’t come to Thailand for such a thing. They come here for our beautiful culture.”
Prostitution has been illegal in the south-east Asian country since 1960, but authorities usually turn a blind eye to the industry, which employs more than 120,000 sex workers.
Since coming to office in 2014, Kobkarn has tried to clean up the resort of Pattaya and, more recently, parts of Bangkok.


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