Negative Cultural Impact Of Tourism In Thailand
These days, church, peace, and justice group are looking at the problem of international tourism. They believe that there seem to be a huge impact of international tourism among women, children, labor, education, and development. In every problem, gender issues do exist. Gender issues with regards to tourism are continuously increasing. The travel of both men and women in the past era are greatly different. In men, travel meant war, conquest, battle, trading opportunities, hunting, fishing, and exploration. Travel was ideally for men before. On the other hand women should stay at home and nurture their children. During the advent of the 19th century, the views regarding travel changed. Travel turned out to be a right. Travel improved the male’s political and economic view. It developed the prestige of men while it diminished the reputation of women. Travel is insignificant for women unless it is meant to support family or religious goals. In the 20th century, women who travel alone are believed to seek marriage, and this has not become a good impression on the women’s intellect and sophistication. These actions of women made the conservatives believe that woman betrayed what was planned for them. In western culture, women are seen to be weak and need protection of men against dangers from other men, especially when venturing beyond relatives and allies. In contrast to Asian and Middle Eastern cultures, the perception about women is different. Women are viewed to be lusty and unreliable. As a result they are required to marry at a very young age.
Currently, there are lots of women who own travel agencies. The majority of travel agents are also women. Most women are producers of art, souvenirs, and crafts and they market it to tourists. Indeed, women make up almost half of the percentage of employment in travel and tourism industry. However, when it comes to monetary terms, it is men who take control on major sectors of economic tourism. Most establishment owners are dominated by male such as airlines, airport, hotels, and others. Citizens in developing countries regret the risk of tourism because it turns their country into a place of waiters and bellhops because most of the owners of big establishments are foreign male investors. Most local individuals receive low salary because male foreign investors establish a business in a country where wage rate is very low. Moreover, women are usually hired as a chambermaid, cook, waitress and they are given low pay and tips. Most women do not regard this as issues because this job is what they traditionally do at home.
It is true that in these days women have a broad access to employment but still gender disparity is unavoidable. It is noticeable that women have the opportunity to be part of a variety of jobs but men have the highest opportunity to become employed and get the middle and top positions.
Sex tourism has become prevalent in Thailand. The number of prostitute in Thailand is relatively high and a lot of them are virtual slaves from Burma. Prostitution is not a choice for those who were kidnapped, coerced, or sold to prostitution. Many women are forced to work in the so called “entertainment industry” and their customers are exclusively male. This sex tourism industry is controlled and owned by men.
Sex tourism in Thailand occurs in a variety of ways. The Hot spot for sex tourism is in Phuket Bangkok. There has been a report in 2002 that board cruise ships offers sex tour programs for foreigners visiting Phuket and Phangna. The price would start for 1,900 US dollars to 12,000 US dollars and this is included with female Thai escort. Different theories about sex tourism in Thailand came out. Researchers believe that this is due to exploitative policies of the Thai government, increasing demand for tourist, low cost and unique sexual services, and racist and sexist view towards female Thai.
Women and Children are forced to become engaged in sex tourism due to poverty. In Thai culture, the eldest daughter is obligated to provide for the family. Women resort to sex tourism or prostitution due to lack of employment opportunities. Thai women perceive foreigners as money. These foreigners are equivalent to money because of the hope to achieve a better life in the western country. As mentioned, eldest Thai daughter is obligated to work and provide for the family. If she was not able to finish her studies and no job experiences there is a little chance for employment, as a result, this Thai daughter will resort to prostitution to earn and provide for their families. Women views their job as a sacrifice for their family.
This is a type of a give and take relationship where the female Thai will benefit from the money of the foreigner and the foreigner will earn pleasure through the sex service of the female Thai. This type of relationship frequently ends up to emotional abuse for both parties. Male tourist may fall in love but the female Thai is just after the money or the female Thai will fall in love and believe that the male tourist will bring her to the Promised Land, only to find out that the male tourist is just after the sex or pleasure.