Eventually the growth of Thailand's tourist industry succeeded in creating rapid economic growth, and modernization. However, Thailand has become so dependent on the tourist industry that a significant reduction of the number of tourist, for any reason, would likely result in the collapse of the entire Thai economy, which would result in widespread poverty. This is one reason why Thai officials have been reluctant to crack down on the sex industry, which is estimated to contribute a quarter of all of the revenues brought in by tourism. The rapid growth and modernization created by tourism has rapidly changed the economic and social structures of Thailand. These shifts have caused the Thai economy and Thai women to be enslaved to the sex trade.
Thailand's total gross national income has nearly tripled in the past 50 years (World Congress, background, p. 2). However, despite this rapid growth the disparity of income between the rich and the poor has only widened (Jubilee, p. 4). This disparity has been caused by a drastic shift from an economy based on agriculture to the spread of a market economy. Lower crop prices and crop failures due to drought and floods resulted in widespread poverty among the rural people of Thailand. This has forced the