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MediaWATCH: Thai Sex Tourism in Bad Shape

MediaWATCH: Thai Sex Tourism in Bad Shape

Friday, May 29, 2009
Phuketwan MediaWATCH

A daily wrap of Thailand news, with a Phuket perspective. Reports from national and international media, with translations into English from Thai.

Today's Must Read

time.com In a memorable line, Time magazine reports: The world's oldest profession isn't about to take the recession lying down. Ranging from Bangkok to Berlin, hard times have hit the sex trade. The article reveals that brothels and bathhouses have launched promotions to arouse interest among wary spenders. ''You have to offer better service these days and special packages,'' says the manager at Yes Sir! in Hanover, Germany, where revenues have fallen 30 percent. As part of a new deal, customers pay $111 to have as much sex as they want (or can) for one hour. In Patpong, one of Bangkok's red-light districts, go-go girls count their livelihood by the number of sex tourists they entertain. ''Three inches, three minutes, 3000 baht ($87),'' laughs Goy, a 25-year-old bargirl.

voanews.com (voice of america) Thailand hopes new legislation will curb official corruption. But some business-risk experts say the chief concern lies in political will and government stability. To curb corruption in public office, the new laws offer more flexibility in prosecuting suspects. Professor Pakdee Pothisiri of the National Anti-Corruption Commission is confident changes will strengthen the fight against graft: ''What we call for [is] all the sectors to work with us in dealing with the corruption.'' Thailand ranks ahead of Indonesia as most corrupt in Asia.

ftnews.com (focus on travel) CNN International reports Thailand was chosen as representing the best value for money for travellers in the Asia Pacific region in a survey of 5000 respondents globally. China came second, India third. While times are tough, the recession hasn't reduced people's desire to travel. People are trading down, not trading out, but not compromising their experience. William Hsu, VP Advertising Sales, added: ''These results send a strong message to tourism boards that smart destination branding is critical for country differentiation and return on investment.''

heraldsun.com.au A killer may have avoided capture by boarding a Jetstar flight to Bangkok immediately after the murder of good samaritan Luke Mitchell in downtown Melbourne, Australia. JQ flight 29 was five hours into its journey when Jetstar's operations centre was told someone of interest to police was on board. That would have put the plane well out of Australian airspace and, with no arrest warrants issued, the decision was made not to turn the plane around because of safety fears.

Bangkok Post Veterinarians are closely watching seven-year-old giant panda Lin Hui after she gave birth to her first cub, in the hope she will give birth again. There was a chance she could deliver another cub within 50 hours of the first, according to Prasertsak Boontrakulpoonthavee, chief of the panda research team. He said she was cleaning herself, as she did before giving birth to Thailand's first baby panda, a female, on Wednesday. Six staff at Chiang Mai zoo take care of Lin Hui in shifts.

Phuket Post Coming out on Fridays now, this issue of the island's english-language fortnightly includes an article in which Mom Tri of Phuket restaurants fame says: ''Phuket is as big as Singapore so don't pass laws that say we can't build high-rise buildings here. The authorities must allow Phuket to develop as a real business centre for Asia, and compete for business with places like Singapore.'' He adds: ''We also need to make it easy for foreigners to settle here, work here and live here. We don't have to give the same rights to all of Thailand, but because Phuket is an island, special legislation should be possible.''

wsj.com Myanmar's financial system and economy are largely cut off from the outside world but not the global economic crisis. Key sectors such as agriculture and tourism are reeling, and business in the commercial center of Yangon has dwindled, residents and economists say. Credit has dried up, remittance income is falling, and thousands of workers returning from abroad are discovering that jobs are scarce. Some residents say they hope a 'guilty' verdict on Aung San Suu Kyi could ignite protests and destabilise a regime that has ruled the resource-rich nation since the 1960s.

su-spectator.com Patrick Cook-Deegan has chosen to spend his time as a Fulbright scholar offering aid relief to one of the most under-reported countries in the world. ''No one knows what's going on in eastern Burma,'' Cook-Deegan said. The military government has burned over 3300 villages and is building more roads through the thick jungle region, making it harder for the native Karen to hide from their attackers. Cook-Deegan advocates for US support of the International Crime Court so the junta can be tried for human rights abuses and travels the country encouraging students to support the ICC.

irrawaddy.com According to Suu Kyi's lawyer Nyan Win, the American intruder at her compound was seen by four or five policemen who threw stones at him. According to Suu Kyi's lawyer, the man testified that Suu Kyi told him to ''respect the law'' and ''go back as soon as possible.'' Nyan Win said that during questioning, lawyers and even the judge laughed openly and mocked the American. The lawyer said that Suu Kyi expressed pity for the American for the way the court had humiliated him. The state-run press reported that he swam with an empty 5-liter plastic water jug, presumably to use as a float, adding that police confiscated a US passport, a black backpack, a pair of pliers, a camera and two US $100 bills.

Associated Press Firefly, the budget wing of Malaysia Airlines, is to launch flights from several Malaysian cities to Singapore starting in July as part of its regional expansion. Firefly will be the fourth no-frills carrier to fly the lucrative route from Kuala Lumpur to Singapore, adding competition to rivals AirAsia, Jetstar and Tiger Airways. Firefly recently began daily Phuket-KL flights to Subang airport, less than half the distance to the main airport, which is 60 kilometers outside KL.

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Re the article in the latest Phuket Post about Mom Tri.
Several sentences were edited out of the original article:

''Phuket is as big as Singapore Island; don't pass laws that say we can't build high-rise buildings in the whole of Phuket. As a result we have so many shophouses you can't see any rice fields from the roadside anymore. Allow the town to develop as a real business center for Asia, like Singapore City and keep those other places low. It wouldn't hurt the beaches at all.''

Posted by Lisa Sol on May 30, 2009 11:27


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