An attraction to a destination involves a push and pull desire. For example Thailand has had a beach resort role since the 1950s as an R&R destination for soldiers involved in the Vietnam War. Since the Vietnam War Thailand has got more of a reputation. Not only could the soldiers relax and enjoy a bit of recuperation but, they also could buy themselves a sex partner or escort. In the soldiers’ defense they were ‘lonely’ and probably missed the touch of a woman. They were getting all the attention that they’d pay for and that was fare by them. I think it’s easy to see now, the war has a lot to do with sex tourism in Thailand. Also, before 1960 prostitution was legal in Thailand and there weren’t any penalties or laws against being involved in prostitution. But, in 1960 was a time for change. Under the Prostitution Suppression Act of 1960 it became illegal in Thailand.
Sex tourism in Thailand seems to fulfill a sexual fantasy and the orientalist and racist stereotypes. This basically means that commercial sex workers are aware of these stereotypes. Commercial sex workers know the stereotypes but they still are more concerned about being able to provide for their families. Many women know there is potential to make enough money to support themselves and families; this is what draws many women into the commercial sex industry. I can only image how hard it is, not just for their economic hardships but also to their self-esteem and the misuse and abuse to their bodies. Many struggle with HIV/AIDS and other STIs that aren’t being treated. These are human rights issues that cannot be overlooked.
Learn more about Campaigns to End Sex Tourism here: http://www.equalitynow.org/endsextourism