Over the past few decades there have been some big changes in Thailand’s bar girl industry that are noticed and often commented by holidaymakers and expats living between Bangkok and Pattaya. The main changes include fewer beer bars operating, with less working bar girls who are now older on average and an overall increase in prices for beer, bar fines and sex.
Thailand’s demographics have shifted in the past 25 years away from the beer bar industry. Men raise the question of ‘where have all the bar girls gone’ in ignorance without comparing the number of total birth rates in 1982 to 2017 (25 years) reduced from 3.1 to 1.5 per woman.
Less developed neighboring countries Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar are approximately 2.5, 2.7 and 2.2 respectively in the same 2017 year.
The age brackets to support the current and future bar girl industry in Thailand are 15-24 years 14% and 15-54 years 46% with a median age of all females of 38.5 years.
As a result of ageing bar girls moving through their 30’s and beyond, less young bar girls backfill the vacancies imposed by bars. Technology has enabled further opportunities to meet men online and sitting around a bar all day waiting for potential customers does not suit all.
Appreciation in the Thai Baht (THB) foreign exchange rate has affected the real cost of sex for tourist of different regions of the world. Between 2007 and 2017 the Pound (GBP) has depreciated by 28%, the Euro (EUR) depreciated by 21% and the dollar (USD) has made a slight gain of 1%.
Combined with the minimum wage of 300 Baht per day, Thailand’s purchasing power has benefited many younger Isaan girls in need of employment outside the bar girl industry.
Older Thai women in the bar industry
There is no doubt that Thai girls working in the bar industry, particularly in Bangkok and Pattaya are more educated than those before the smart phone revolution.
2010 was about the time when reasonable quality Android phones could be bought for a few thousand Baht and from them on Thai girls could access news, information and communicate freely with men all hours of the day.
At the same time this became a distraction in itself as bar girls buried into their phones and away from customers. Before this access was affordable to Thai girls working in the bar industry, they would have to go to work, be penalized for turning up late, days off and have their salaries held until the end of the month.
Many Thai girls only read about Pattaya in a magazine or heard of it from their hooker friends and otherwise had no knowledge of what Pattaya was or where it is.
Older Thai women 40+ who haven’t succeeded to find stable partners or people to support them financially may find themselves stuck in the Thailand beer bar industry. It will only get increasingly difficult competing against younger Thai girls and the influx of foreign prostitutes using digital platforms.
Future bar girl industry in Thailand
Prices have become more expensive over time as with anything else, but there are still a ton of available Thai girls looking for foreign men in Pattaya. There has been a decrease in western tourists over the years only to be replaced with busloads of Chinese and Russian’s.
These low value tourists adhere to strict budgets, are directed where to spend their money and don’t contribute much to the existing systems of the bar girl industry.
On the other hand, high end sex tourists from Japan and Korea roll in with wads of cash and display no hesitation to paying well over the going rates to be with the most beautiful gogo bar girls.
The thought of landing multiple short times within this division of men is much more profitable and desirable than a fat slob gulping down cheap Chang beer one after the next.
Technology is 2 way and benefits customers as much as it does for the Thai girls. There are a few options, turn up in Pattaya, stroll around and let the holiday unfold as it happens.
Or to save the trouble of disappointment and wandering around in the hot sun you could shop for Thai girls on dating apps like Thai Friendly from the conform of an air-conditioned bar and then organize a meet up.
Pattaya is still the best place to pick up Asian girls and there is always another option just around the corner waiting for you.