Sex tourism

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Sex tourism is travel to engage in sexual activity 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".[1]

While sex tourism can refer to a variety of commercial sexual activities, agencies and academics[who?] sometimes distinguish between adult sex tourism, child sex tourism and female sex tourism to refer to different kinds of sex tourism. Attractions for sex tourists can include reduced costs for services in the destination country, along with either legal prostitution or indifferent law enforcement and access to child prostitution.



Generally, an adult can travel and engage in a sexual activity with an adult prostitute, in similar circumstances as would apply to local prostitution. However, when the sexual activity involves child prostitution, is non-consensual or involves sex trafficking, it is generally illegal, both in the participating country and sometimes in the individual's home country.

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.[2] It has been argued by some people that sex tourism benefits not only the sex industry but also the airline, taxi, restaurant and hotel industries.[3] Human Rights organizations warn that sex tourism contributes to human trafficking and child prostitution.[4]

Female sex tourism

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