Sleeveless Thais Are Not All Hookers

Bangkok Post, September 1, 2001

Hotel chiefs rush to fix Internet slur

JW Marriott hotel executives yesterday rushed to clear the air with women's rights advocates following an uproar over an insulting description of Thai women on a website run by the hotel chain. The Bangkok hotel is an affiliate of Marriott International.

Jeff Crowe, hotel marketing director, yesterday showed up at Chart Pattana party's office to apologise for the blunder. He said he had the offensive description deleted from the website when he was informed about it on Thursday. He said the statement was not written by Marriott staff, but by a travel guide company hired by Marriott overseas.

The statement was found in the Bangkok city guide section of Marriott International's website. It says: "No Thai men wear shorts. Among women, only prostitutes wear sleeveless blouses and/or shorts."

"No matter what, I apologise and have ordered the statement deleted. I am considering corrections."

Chart Pattana MP Pavena Hongsakula, who denounced the statement as "evil" and insulting to Thai women, agreed to drop any move against the hotel chain.

Ms Pavena, head of a children's and women's foundation, said she would co-operate with the Foreign Ministry in scouring hotel websites for damaging information about Thailand.

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