I guess the Tourism Authority of Thailand was hoping to be romantic with its latest visit Thailand tourism video. Unfortunately, I just about fell off my chair, given that the advert clearly promotes stalking women. Given the various negative press that Thailand has received over the last few years with respect to tourists being hassled and murdered, the pro-stalking campaign is definitely in bad taste.
Okay, maybe I am being a little bit too melodramatic here, so you decide for yourself. The video itself starts with a guy who is attracted to a bunch of Instagram posts. He is interested in the photos that a particular user has uploaded (scenery related), and more significantly, he also decides that he wants to track down the girl who is uploading these photos… “I want to find the woman in the photos”.
He therefore sets out on a trip to Thailand, identifying the locations in her photos and basically tracking her through the country. Eventually he finds her on an empty ferry boat (talk about a creepy setting) and asks her if she is the owner of the Love_en_Route instagram profile. The girl responds that he must be mistaken (which any sensible girl would do in a similar situation when you realise that some strange guy has been stalking you via your on-line activities).
In the next scene, the girl is on an idyllic, deserted beach, taking a photo (presumably to upload onto instagram). The guy is standing behind her and sends her a message asking if she is alone and if she needs a friend. Her response in the video is then positive and the remainder of the video is of the highlights of their journey through Thailand’s attractions. However, I think for many women, the scene of the guy behind her, on an empty beach, asking if she is alone, especially after she already rejected the guy once, could be a bit alarming.
The big question… will the Tourism Authority pull the ad, or keep running with it? Thailand’s tourism industry has already suffered significantly over the last 12 months. The figures from local travel agents organisation paints a bleaker picture than the statistics released by the government (almost 50% down for January 2015 compared to 12 months ago).
You can view the video here: