Gambia apologises to Thailand over tourism comments

Gambia apologises to Thailand over tourism comments

The Gambian government has issued a statement apologising Thailand for the comments of its tourism minister.

Hamat Bah told state media on Jan 12 Western tourists planning to travel to the Gambia in search of sex tourism should stay away from his country and go to Thailand instead.

His comments sparked criticisms in Thailand after an online news outlet republished them, prompting the Thai Foreign Ministry to take action.

A ministry spokesman said on Feb 26 it had sent letters in protest to the African nation. 

The Gambian Foreign Ministry’s statement reads:

“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, International Cooperation and Gambians Abroad of the Republic of The Gambia regrets the unfortunate comments made by the Minister of Tourism and Culture, in which he referred to the Tourism Sector of Thailand in a negative manner during televised TV Programme aired on 12 January 2018.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs would like to express its heartfelt apologies to the Government of the Kingdom of Thailand and extends assurances that measures will be put in place to prevent the re-occurrence of such an unfortunate incidence. The Ministry extends its profound assurances to the Government of Thailand that the remarks of the Minister are not to be construed as a reflection of the Government’s view on the Tourism Sector of Thailand.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs values the excellent relations shared with the Kingdom of Thailand and wishes to renew its commitment to strengthening cooperation between the two brother countries.”