Sex tourism generally refers to a travel activity that has been arranged to reach a destination and form sexual relationships with prostitutes at that place. According to World Tourism Organization (WTO), such kind of tourism is organized by sources within the tourism sector or by external sources that use the networks of this sector to make it happen. The main purpose of sex tourism is to form a sexual relationship of commercial kind between the tourist and the destination residents.
This activity is generally encouraged by the lower cost services available at the destination country or by easy access to child prostitution. It can also get encouraged by the prostitution being either legal in these countries or ignored by the law. The history of sex tourism dates back to Marco Polo’s times when he told in his writings about Chinese villages. In these villages, travelers were being lured by women to sleep with them. In exchange, women would get some small trinkets that were proudly displayed by them in order to show their popularity and their being good marriage prospects.
More recently, there have been foundations of sex tourism seen to be laid by armies of various countries across the globe. At some point in history, European men were educated to visit brothels as they went on grand tours. The trend picked up so much that risks of the disease of syphilis kept going up. This crippling disease was even used as biological warfare in Spain and Italy’s mutual war. Spanish prostitutes were especially sent for the purpose of infecting soldiers of the opposition army. In Japanese army too, there were abducted Korean women brought about to make relationships with soldiers. Similar incidences can be provided from the U.S. army wars that eventually brought the title of Asia’s sex capital for Bangkok.
By the time this trend could be brought under control, it had started building its own market in the form of sex tourism industry. Now, this practice takes place at international, as well as domestic locations. A large number of travelers globally bring a multibillion dollar business to this industry. There are other industries that are also benefitting from it alongside. But, the organizations fighting for human rights claim this business to be contributing to child prostitution and human trafficking. There are various types of oppositions to this practice but it is booming under its own umbrella.