When you think of a “sex tourist”, you probably think of a dirty old man in Asia, molesting young boys. As it turns out, these filthy old men now have some competition.
International organization “Defense for Children-EPCAT” is sounding the alarm bell for a disturbing new trend in the world of sex tourism – older women heading to Africa for the sole purpose of sex.
A spokesperson for the organization reports on an increasing number of European and American women taking “tours” to Africa for sex.
The women involved in this disturbing new trend become part of it in one of two ways; Some of them are approached by their “tour guide”, falling for their charm and engaging in sex, others know exactly what they are doing, and take the trip purely for the sex.
Sadly, many of the kids participating are still minors, as it isn’t always easy to correctly judge their age. A UNICEF report says that over 30% of children between 12 and 18 in Kenya are involved in the sex tourism business, a horrifying statistic.
A new initiative by EPCAT, UNICEF and the UNWTO (United Nations World Tourism Organization) introduced a code of conduct to be adopted by any supplier or tourism. Of course, as with any initiative like this, it relies on the support of the industry, and it won’t help against tourists booking their trips outside a group package.
Well, there could be a stranger place than Kathmandu to operate a sex parlor…say, the Vatican. But clearly, it is only a matter of time. The search for spirituality and natural beauty is, apparently, paved with lap dances.
This week’s Economist has an article on the rise of sex tourism in Nepal. There are now an estimated 200 “massage parlors” and over 35 dance/strip bars, selling “sex” for as little as $28, which of course is not insignificant for them. Those women, however, might be better off than the 200,000+ Nepali women, who are trafficked into India for sex every year.
Some say Nepal is becoming the new Bangkok. Since the civil war ended only recently and marked the end of Nepal’s Himalayan tourism industry, sex tourism is ready to replace it. I especially like the part of the article where the Nepal Tourism Board suggests that tourists should “Have a drink at one of the local dance bars, where beautiful Nepali belles will dance circles around your pals.”
Now, all you need is a low-cost carrier to fly there direct. Makes me want to scream.
My tour of Amsterdam was probably one of the purest 5-hour jaunts imaginable. Think windmills, cheese and clogs, because that’s all I managed to capture photos of and I slept a majority of the time on my tour bus. No Mary Jane the weed or Mary Jane the sex-show prostitute to be seen, so maybe I was on the wrong bus. Like it or not – some travelers come to Amsterdam ONLY for these two purposes. Maybe not both or simultaneously, but like I said SOME travelers and hey, they’re booming industries.
-Or was a booming industry.-
From the sound of this News from Amsterdam piece six days back some entrepreneurs in the Red Light District are not getting their licenses renewed. You see, they have this thing called the Bibob Act which can deny the licenses to entrepreneurs who can be linked to crooked-criminal-filthy money. Ouch! Apparently 37 entrepreneurs have been hit with the bad news and together they own half of the ‘windows’ where prostitutes can be found. Double ouch! Sounds like a hot time in the city. It might just be time for all the sex sight-seeing folks to seek out the windmills too. If you use your imagination they could look like…
Lots of exciting things happening here at Gadling these days. I’ve just wrapped up my cross-country adventures with Steps Across America, Erik is hanging out around Newfoundland and Neil is just starting to divulge the details of his Balkan adventure. With the forces combined I now bring you our Take 5 for the week. (Thanks Neil for holding it down!)
5. Rental Car Rant – Underage Driving:
I just did this blurb earlier today, but it deserves another look. Just think back to the days when you paid an arm and a leg for a rental car because of your age. Did anyone offer you any affordable solutions? Well, this one goes out to all the folks under 25 who wish to rent cars on their big time Miami Beach or NYC excursions and some of the cheaper rental companies around. Good luck.
4.Sex Tourism for Women:
As a woman I find this topic pretty wild and raunchy. Paying for sex or offering gifts while traveling in Third World lands has never been on my travel agenda and reading this disturbing piece pointed out by Neil really gets me hot and bothered in a very un-sexual way. I couldn’t imagine. I don’t want to, but I am interested in seeing the film based on female sex tourism, Heading South.
3. Balkan Odyssey Part 1: Getting to Albania:
Judging from the sound of part 1 I can already tell Neil is full of incredible tips and stories from his Balkan Odyssey. Flight into the Mother Teresa Airport? Only in Albania. With this one we’ll just have to watch and see, but oh, it looks like another will be making our take 5 this week!
2. Kayaking Manhattan:
The great outdoors in NYC – a man, his paddle and all the Hudson to tackle. This piece reviews the lesser explored and kayaked waters in New York by way of a Brit who discovers the same type of peace and solitude so often blogged about by our own Erik Olsen.
1. Balkan Odyssey Part 3: What to see in Tirana:
Now we’re getting cookin’. Tirana is as foreign to me as Zanzibar, but Neil breaks the post-communist capital down to basics. Check out the National Art Gallery, the Blloku, or better yet just check out the post.