BANGKOK, 20 February 2018: Britain’s Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson, made an oblique reference to the British appetite for sex tourism in Thailand during a major speech about Brexit, the Independent newspaper reported last week.
In an address focusing on Brexit issues the Foreign Secretary wandered off cue to quip: “As I have just discovered we have more than a million (citizens) who go to Thailand every year, where according to our superb consular services they get up to the most eye-popping things.”
Thailand’s Ministry of Tourism and Sports’ data for tourist arrivals in 2017 showed more than 1 million British citizens visited Thailand on holiday.
Johnson had preceded the comment with the assertion that the right deals on aviation and visa-free travel” would allow Britons “ever more intensively to go on cheapo flights to stag parties in ancient cities”.
One Twitter user said: “Boris Johnson is going on about Brits committing illegal activities in Thailand and stag parties in ancient cities. This is our international reputation? How sad.”
Another wrote: “Harming our reputation and making light of serious behaviour, even criminal abuse, is a step too far even for him.”
Mr Johnson met Thailand’s Prime Minister and Foreign Minister during a tour of Asia according to the Independent.
After talks on trade and security, he said he would “look forward to further strengthening the UK’s relationship with Thailand in the future”.