Pattaya mayor condemns U.K. tabloid news

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Pattaya’s new mayor joined the parade of public officials contesting a British tabloid newspaper story claiming the city was the world’s “sex capital”.

Anan Charoenchasri expressed his concerns about foreign media attacking the beach resort, citing numerous crime reports and calling it the prostitution capital of the world.

He insisted authorities actively are working to change the image of Pattaya and the issue has been around for a long time.

Many people are here for the sun and beaches.
Many people are here for the sun and beaches.

Numerous foreign media reports have been negative in past years, some false and some true, he said. He accused the author of the Daily Mirror’s story – which was run in condensed form by the Sun as well – of hating Thais.

He said prostitution is found around the world, including in the U.K.

Families with children in strollers and couples are everywhere in Pattaya and they aren’t coming for the go-go bars, he noted.

Nonetheless, he promised more aggressive crackdowns and raids. A major reason for this is not scandal, but security, Anan added.

Pattaya Police have more than 3,000 profiles of bar workers and foreigners and those will be checked to ensure they are all in the country legally, work in entertainment venues or operate them.

He asserted that not all go-go bar dancers are selling sex and argued many customers go to the bars just to watch the exotic show, not hire a prostitute.

One 32-year-old bar worker said she doesn’t understand the fuss over the story, which likely would have faded into obscurity if Thai officials didn’t keep talking about it.

She said Pattaya has sex-for-sale just like other major cities around the world. It’s up to the tourists if they decide to use the services or not, she said.

The woman said she personally can’t change the views of Pattaya bargirls and they don’t all think alike. Some are honest and some do things that give the city a bad name.

“Everybody here works for a living and struggles to feed their families,” the bargirl said. “However, they are not going around and being a burden to others. Regardless of the occupation people are in, there are good and bad people.”

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