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Martial Law as the Next Big Tourist Attraction

Thailand is poised to take destination marketing down a heretofore unexplored road with an ad campaign that promotes the supposed lure of visiting a country operating under martial law.

Since the democratically elected government was ousted in a May coup, the country has been under the control of the army. Tourism, which normally accounts for around 7 percent of Thailand’s economy, is off 20 percent. And the Tourism Authority of Thailand was understandably under pressure to put a tourist-friendly face on the situation.

So, what’s good about a military dictatorship? Stability, of course! And, by extension, safety.

The ad campaign’s title is “24 Hours Enjoy Thailand.” The title’s 24 hours, according to a tourism official, refers to the fact that, under martial law, tourists can be confident of their safety 24 hours a day. “We want the tourists to be confident that they can travel in Thailand both day and night with safety at all times.”

Whether that message will resonate with prospective tourists remains to be seen.

Reader Reality Check When you consider visiting Thailand, is martial law a positive or a negative?

This article originally appeared on

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