Thailand protests Gambian 'slander' of tourism

Thailand protests Gambian 'slander' of tourism

The Gambia has become a popular sex tourism destination for western women. (Creative Commons, Flickr)
The Gambia has become a popular sex tourism destination for western women. (Creative Commons, Flickr)

The Thai Foreign Ministry has taken action after reports the Gambian tourism minister made an unfavourable comment on Thailand’s tourism.

Hamat Bah told state media on Saturday Western tourists planning to travel to the Gambia in search of sex tourism should stay away from his country, according to eTurboNews, a global travel industry online news outlet.

“We are not a sex destination. If you want a sex destination, you go to Thailand,” Mr Bah reportedly told Kerr Fatou, a weekly show on state media GRTS.

The comment created an uproar among Thais in social media, who urged authorities to respond.

Matichon Online on Monday evening quoted Makawadee Sumitmor, the ministry’s deputy spokesperson, as saying the Thai Foreign Ministry had asked two of its embassies to send letters of protest to the African nation.

They are the Thai embassy in Senegal, which is also responsible for the neighbouring Gambia, and the Thai embassy in Malaysia, where the Gambian High Commission also takes care of Thailand.

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