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Bangkok rebuffs Gambian minister for “sex destination” remark

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has sent a letter of protest to Gambian tourism minister Hamat Bah over his remark suggesting that Thailand is a sex tourism destination, Foreign Affairs Minister Don Pramudwinai said today (Feb 27).

Mr Don confirmed that the ministry already made an official response to the Gambian minister's comment and said he personally hoped that the matter would not be escalated.

From now on, it was the duty of the Thai society to prove that such perception was not true.

The eTN tourism news website reported on Feb 24 that Gambia's Tourism Minister Hamat Bah warned Western tourists, who plan to visit Gambia during the winter season in search of sex tourism, to stay away from the country.

We are not a sex destination. If you want a sex destination, you go to Thailand. The Gambia is not a sex destination. We are not, and please every Gambian must sing that song. We cannot afford to see this country to reall be brought to that level. We must protect and preserve this country, Mr Bah was quoted as saying.

His comment was made at the Kerr Fatou, a show aired every Thursday on Gambia's state media GRTS.

Culture Minister Veera Rojpojchanarat said today that the country's image has changed and has become a quality tourism destination.

The admitted that sex tourism used to be prevalent in Thailand but such perception had faded since the country focuses on promoting morality and cultural tourism.

Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (ThaiPBS)

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