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FILM: Impact Of Tourism: Thailand
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25 mins, 2003
Beautiful beaches, wonderful scenery and friendly people — Thailand seems the ideal tourist destination. But what don't they tell you in the holiday brochure?
The Thai tourist authority is pushing “ecotourism”, which, in theory at least, doesn't damage the environment. Ecotourists take rafts down river, ride elephants in lush green spaces, visit Buddhist temples and tribal hill people whose lifestyles haven't changed for hundreds of years.
But critics say the hill people are treated like “human zoos”.
There are worries, too, about cruelty to elephants. But the most notorious problem is sex tourism - which includes men, women and children.
The Thai economy is now critically dependent of tourism spending - but how much has been lost in the rush to exploit the visitor invasion? And are local people getting their fair share?
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