Sex Tourism

Due to globalization, sex tourism is rapidly developing in the modern world. Although it can be economically beneficial for the country, it is usually seen as a dark cloud over the tourism business, in general. This essay focuses on strengths and weaknesses as well as on the opportunities and threats of the sex tourism industry. It presents an idea of sex tourism, in general, its advantages and disadvantages as well as its possible future development.

Sex tourism implies traveling with an intention to have sex wit the representatives of the country that a person is visiting. It gains more popularity nowadays, moreover, in the countries where prostitution is legalized. People from all over the world travel to other countries in order to gain impression, and it does not always imply sightseeing or photographing. Sex tourism has already become an inevitable part of tourism in such countries like the Netherlands, Colombia, Argentina, Ecuador, France, and other countries of Europe, Asia, Africa, and South America. In these countries, it has become a source of an additional legal income, since prostitution is taxed. At the same time, there is a wide range of countries where people earn for living by the means of illegal prostitution, including sex tourists. Sex tourists are mostly men with only 10 percent of female sex tourists. A lot of them are from prosperous countries. Men tend to go to the Philippines and Thailand; and women prefer to visit Kenya and the Caribbean (Hamlyn, Peer, and Easterbrook n. p.).

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Sex tourism, like tourism, in general, has a number of advantages it can provide to the country. One of them is its attraction of more tourists. For example, in Thailand, after an end of the war, the sex market was supported in order to avoid an economic crisis. Tourism in Thailand makes more than $ 4 billion annually (Rushing and Contreras 1). The sex industry in Thailand has exceeded export of rice and become a significant part of the economy. Nowadays, local entrepreneurs, hoteliers as well as governments and travel businesses have particular interests in a growing flow of sex tourists. Moreover, researches state that a stereotype of exotic of the Asian women is a trigger for men all over the world to come to Thailand. Consequently, the countries with the increasing flow of sex tourists receive an additional profit, because people do spend money on this industry. Researchers have estimated that Britons annually spend almost as twice as much on prostitution as going to the cinema (“Prostitution ‘Is Ј700m Industry’” n. p.). At the same time, North Americans constitute 25% of sex tourists in the world and directly support the economy of the sex industry (Guzder n. p.). The affordable cost of services also attracts sex tourists. Havocscope provides the facts that depending on the country the price for prostitution varies from $12 to $200. In general, it is estimated for $186 billion in the underground economy and obtains the second place among the illegal businesses all over the world (Havocscope n. p.).

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Sex tourism usually involves a crime that may deter potential customers. Besides, in most countries, prostitution is considered to be illegal and leads to criminal liability. Even in the countries where the sex industry is regulated, it often maintains human trafficking. For example, in 2010, in Colombia, there were the investigations of 144 illegal human trade cases which involved 90 adults. Those persons had been illegally trafficked abroad and forced to become prostitutes (United States Department of State n. p.). As recent studies have shown, even in the countries where the sex industry is decriminalized, human trafficking has increased. This has happened because despite a growing number of women entering the sex industry, the demand rises as well (O’Sullivan n. p.). Exploitation of children is another problem in modern sex tourism nowadays. It has been estimated that approximately two million children are annually used in the world sex trade ("Sex Trafficking Fact Sheet" n. p.). Kids from empowered families are usually held at the resorts for food, clothes, and shelter and are provide sex tourists with services. For example, in 2006, at the resort in Acapulco of American property, the eight years old Mexican boys were exploited in such a manner. Moreover, one of the charged men was also filming a process of the abuse ("Child Sex Tourism Case Study" n. p.).    


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In the future of sex tourism, there may be robots for use, which will reduce the human rights violation and violence as well. It is estimated that they will have entered the sex markets by 2050 ("Sex Robots Will Revolutionize Sex Tourism, Report Says (NSFW)" n. p.). This will also diminish a need in human resources to be involved in prostitution, thus, reducing the human trafficking. Moreover, substitution of people by sex-bots will help to eliminate the sex-related risks of health problems such as sexually transmitted diseases. Sex tourism can become a legal and inevitable part of tourism, in general, and boost the economic development of the country on condition that it is controlled by its owners. If special healthcare services are introduced along with human trafficking prevention and regulated taxation, sex tourism can avoid all the possible risks that are present now, such as criminal liability, health hazards, and violence. For instance, when considering the national legalization of sex industry in Belgium, the government stated that legal sex business could help to diminish the influence of criminals and refund the lost tax revenues (Bilefsky n. p.). If sex tourism is legalized and more harshly controlled, it can officially provide an additional income to the country where it is located.

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