Sex tourism

Sex tourism is travel to engage in sexual activity, particularly with prostitutes. The World Tourism Organization, a specialized agency of the United Nations, defines sex tourism as "trips organized from within the tourism sector, or from outside this sector but using its structures and networks, with the primary purpose of effecting a commercial sexual relationship by the tourist with residents at the destination".

You can find information about sex tourism in different parts of the world from this web site. Just write the name of the city or country to WikiSexGuide's "search"-field above on the right side! You can also navigate to different destinations from the Main Page.


Sex tourism includes domestic sex tourism, which is travel within the same country, or international sex tourism, which involves travel across national borders. It is a multibillion dollar industry that supports an international workforce estimated to number in the millions.


Several countries have become preferred destinations for sex tourists. These include Cambodia, Thailand, Brazil, and the Dominican Republic. Individual cities or regions have acquired a reputation as sex tourist destinations. Many of these have notable red-light districts, including de Wallen in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, Zona Norte in Tijuana, Mexico, Boy's Town in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, Fortaleza and Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, Bangkok, Pattaya and Phuket in Thailand.

Erotic Resorts

Over the years Sex tourism has always had a negative vibe. When discussing sex tourism people used to associate it with sleazy motels and men with poor hygiene who just could not fend for themselves. However over the years this industry has evolved into a glamorous industry catering to powerful men (celebrities, politicians, etc.). Even couples are getting into the action, and the sleazy motels have turned into high end exclusive beachfront resorts with 4 and 5 star rating. Dr.Nights Exotic Resort located in the Dominican Republic has spearheaded the change with its 5 star beachfront all inclusive accommodations, Luxury airport transfer and girls that are straight out of a cover girl magazine.

Female sex tourism

Sex tourism by women exists. The main destinations for female sex tourism are Brazil, Southern Europe (mainly Portugal, Greece,Spain), Turkey, the Caribbean (led by Jamaica, Barbados and the Dominican Republic), parts of Africa (Tunisia, Gambia, Kenya, Other destinations include Morocco, El Salvador, Mexico, Ecuador, Peru and Fiji.

Academic study

  • Preconceptions about race and gender influenced tourists' opinions.
  • Economically underdeveloped tourist-receiving countries are promoted as being culturally different so that (in the Western tourist's understanding) prostitution and traditional male domination of women have less stigma than similar practices might have in their home countries.

However, despite a great deal of interest in sexual tourism amongst theorists, methodologically thorough and detailed studies remain at a premium, despite the increasing accessibility of such groups for study in the past three decades.


Film makers have been active at reporting on sex tourism. Documentary titles include:

  • Falang: Behind Bangkok's Smile, by Jordon Clark (2005), set in Thailand
  • CBC series the Lens episode "Selling Sex in Heaven" (2005), set in the Philippines
  • Sex Tourism, on Talking Points, from Channel 4
  • Channel 4, My Boyfriend, the Sex Tourist (2007), looks at sex tourism around the world

Prostitution laws across the globe

  Prostitution legal and regulated
  Prostitution (the exchange of sex for money) legal, but organized activities such as brothels and pimping are illegal; prostitution is not regulated
  Prostitution illegal
  No data

Prostitution is also legal and regulated in New Zealand (map not shown).

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