An economic activity in an LEDC: Tourism in Thaila
Thailand, in South East Asia, gets around 3 million visitors per year.
Of the 3 million tourists, many are European (mainly British) youths on holiday with their friends.
They leave rubbish, commit crime, use cheap drugs, and buy cheap alcohol by the bucketload.
This party culture is a large source of employment for many in the Koh Phangan area, and from further afield, but it does cause problems.
For example, it could be argued that the most serious problems the Full Moon Party causes are the deaths. The main reason for this being a large problem is that when foreign young people die on holiday there, they have to be kept in giant fridges to keep the body cool until the family can collect it. These giant fridges cost money which the Thai people do not have.
Despite the 'full moon party' in Koh Phangan being among the biggest sources of employment for many in Thailand, the chamber maids working in each of the 276 hotels in Koh Phangan work 8 hours a day, six days a week. This earns them only 243.45 Bahts (£4.50) per day to support a whole family, and this figure is only 80p above the average wage in Thailand.
The tourist industry's morality comes into question again with the 'human zoo' situation with the Kayan women in a village near Mae Hong Son. Human rights groups say that the women are treated like animals in a zoo. They are paid about £21 per month to wear them (15 times more than farmers), and it makes the whole village feel humiliated because of this commercialisation of their people's traditions. Around a dozen of these women began rebelling in 2006, as they were against the way that the Thai authorities forbade them to develop in any way, because tourists want 'primitive'. The women have ambitions and want to have a future, but the human zoo situation is stopping them from getting any kind of career.