The Role of the State in Sex Tourism

Examines the role that the state can play in controlling the entrance of tourists seeking sexual pleasures into its borders.

One industry that has benefited immensely from the opening up of borders by globalization is that of tourism, which in turn, has wrought a further impact on several local economies. In fact, tourism has become the world’s largest industry. This paper shows that the boom in global tourism has unfortunately also resulted in the increasing growth of sex tourism, a phenomenon that is causing increasing concern to society and governments around the globe, leading to several worldwide organizations and governments developing and implementing programs and measures aimed at regulating and controlling sex tourism. This paper examines the interrelationship between the state and sex tourism, with particular reference to the role that the state can play in controlling the phenomena. This paper places into context the nature of sex tourism, including its definition, the profile of sex tourists, the issues involved in child sex tourism, the control of sex tourism, the power and economic relationship between sex workers and their clients, and the role of the tourism industry.
The fact that there seem to be more male than female sex tourists does not however imply that the existence of female sex tourism is too miniscule to cause any concern or negate the need to study. If anything, there is some reason to believe that female sex tourism may be on the rise. Take Negril in Jamaica for example, a destination known as a swinging resort, Negril attracts the majority of Jamaica’s estimated 1.3 million tourists every year and many white Western women come to Negril precisely for sexual liaisons with Jamaican men (The Guardian July 12, 2003). Female sex tourism is, however, much harder to quantify and monitor due to the fact that it comprises of far more informal transactions with no prevalence of any organized male prostitution industry.

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