Tourism Thailand slammed over creepy ‘stalker’ video

BANGKOK, Thailand – Tourism Thailand’s latest effort to lure holidaymakers to its idyllic beaches and ancient temples may have backfired after a marketing campaign featured a creepy ‘stalker’ video.

The Southeast Asian country’s tourism board released the short film, titled ‘Love en Route’, which tries to tell a cute love story involving a lovesick American tourist who tracks down a young Thai woman through her Instagram photos.

But the clumsy 16-minute video, released along with a five-minute trailer, has been criticised and received negative reviews from those within the travel industry.

Produced by Thailand’s tourism ministry and the National Federations of Thai Film Associations, the video is intended as a love letter to the country’s sights, sounds and culture while encouraging visitors to share their photos with their social media friends.

It features an American man who takes a solo trip to Thailand ‘to heal a broken heart’, and a Thai woman who is traveling in remembrance of her sister.

Various scenes show him looking longingly out of his hotel room window – after traveling halfway around the world – and vowing to find the young woman as he scrolls through her Instagram photos.

‘It would be nice for us to meet and maybe become friends,’ the man said.

With the story told from both perspectives, the man eventually tracks down his internet obsession.

She initially resists his advances as he attempts to pursue a friendship, but she eventually gives in and they spend time touring Thailand together.

But as his holiday comes to an end it’s time for an awkward goodbye at the airport, where the man explains his feelings and is met with silence.

After the young woman walks away, she realizes her travel companion may be her ‘destiny’ after all, and posts a photo of the pair on Instagram.

It’s not the first time Thailand’s tourism ministry has been slammed for one of its marketing gimmicks.

Last year the tourism authority offered tourists a chance to win a luxury holiday and free plastic surgery.

It said the ‘extreme makeover’ winners would be selected after a panel of medical experts judged photos and written submissions. The contest was open to non-Thai women aged 25 to 45.

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