Sex tourism is fast gaining acceptance with both tourists as well as lawmakers. However, the general public still looks down upon sex tourism and the morality angle comes heavily into play when the legitimacy of the tourism segment is questioned. Like any other kind of tourism, sex tourism too has its own advantages and disadvantages. We find out what makes sex tourism so lucrative and yet so dangerous.
Advantages of sex tourism:
1. Cheap means of fun for tourists
When you compare the thrill of spending time with an exotic sex worker and the sense of adventure that other activities can provide, the former wins hands down. It also quite cheap in comparison to booking adventure tourism packages especially when you are visiting a country like Thailand.
2. Economic boom
For local economies that accept sex tourism as a legitimate form of business, it could prove to be quite economically beneficial as overseas visitors looking for hired sex partners often like to stay at a prestigious local hotel and indulge in quite a bit of shopping and sightseeing in the local area as well.
For thousands of unskilled sex workers, sex tourism provides legitimate employment opportunities.
4. Cultural preservation
Many tourists flock to sex tourism destinations to experience exotic sensuality which is often accompanies by a performance of a traditional erotic dance and massage which helps these sex workers preserve their local cultural heritage to an extent.
5. Environment preservation
When singletons visit a sex tourism hotspot for a weekend or a short vacation, they are less likely to seek out thrills and adventures in the region that have an adverse impact on the local environment.
6. Influx of foreign exchange
Sex tourism hotspots mostly attract foreign tourists which helps create massive inflow of foreign exchange through the region.
1. It promotes STDs and HIV/AIDS
Despite the best efforts of local authorities, sex workers often end up giving or receiving STDs or infections like HIV/AIDS to tourists since there is no genuine way to ensure that a tourist would wear a condom every time he hires the service of a local sex worker.
2. Promotes pedophilia
Sex tourism hotspots are also notorious for promoting pedophilia since destinations famed for sex tourism often don’t have a registry for child sex offenders and many “institutions” often promote pedophilia to boost business.
3. Increase in illegal activities in sex tourism destinations
Human trafficking, child labor, child sex trafficking, sale of illegal drugs and criminal activities often come bundled with sex tourism and authorities have a hard time keeping criminal activities under control in these regions.
4. Seasonal employment for sex workers
Most sex shops only provide employment to their workers during tourist season and these workers have to fend for themselves during the off-season.