Sex tourism

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Also see the page [ Red-light district ]

The term "red light district" is said to have originated with early railroaders. The men carried lit red lanterns when they left the train so in case of an emergency the crew caller would be able to find them. These lanterns were left outside bordellos when crew members stopped to pay the ladies a visit and sometimes were brought inside to be placed in a window.

A list of world red-light districts.



  • Cairo
    • Wagh el Birket (defunct)


  • Nairobi
    • Koinange Street


  • Tangier
    • Petit Socco

South Africa

  • Durban
    • Point Road



  • Phnom Penh
    • Svay Pak

People's Republic of China

  • Beijing
    • Dashilan (defunct)
  • Hong Kong
    • Portland Street, Mong Kok, Wan Chai
  • Shanghai
    • Simalu (also called Huileli) (pre-People's Republic)


  • Delhi
    • Chawri
    • GB Road
  • Hyderabad, India|Hyderabad
    • Mehboob Ki Mehndi
  • Kolkata (formerly Calcutta)
    • Sonagachi
  • Mumbai (formerly Bombay)
    • Kamathipura
  • Pune
    • Budhwar Peth


  • Jakarta
    • Blok M


  • Kyoto
    • Shimabara (defunct)
  • Osaka
    • Kujo
    • Tobita
  • Tokyo
    • Kabukicho
    • Roppongi
    • Yoshiwara

South Korea

  • Daegu
    • Jagalmadang
  • Seoul
    • Cheongnyangni 588
    • Mia-ri
    • Yeongdeungpo


  • Kuala Lumpur
    • Chow Kit


  • Hyderabad, Pakistan|Hyderabad
    • Serey Ghat
  • Karachi
    • Napier Road
  • Lahore
    • Hira Mandi
  • Multan
    • Ghanta Ghar


  • Angeles City (Clark Air Base)
    • Fields Avenue, Balibago


  • Singapore
    • Geylang


  • Bangkok
    • Clinton Plaza (defunct)
    • Patpong
    • Sukhumvit Road Area (including Nana Plaza and Soi Cowboy)
  • Phuket
    • Soi Bang-La – Patong Beach
Nightlife is centered on two main areas Bangla Road and Paradise Complex, with Bangla Road being predominantly straight and Paradise Complex being predominantly gay. Much mixing of the two scenes occurs due to Phuket Island’s tolerant nature, with Kathoey (transgender) present on Bangla Road.
  • Pattaya
    • Pattaya Beach

Australia and Oceania


  • Brisbane
    • Fortitude Valley, Queensland|The Valley
  • Melbourne
    • St Kilda, Victoria|St Kilda
  • Sydney
    • Kings Cross, New South Wales|Kings Cross
    • Darlinghurst, East Sydney

New Zealand

  • Auckland
    • Karangahape Road
  • Christchurch
    • Manchester Street
  • Wellington
    • Vivian Street



  • Antwerp
    • Schipperskwartier
  • Brussels
    • Rue d'Aerschot|Rue d'Aerschot/Aarschotstraat

Czech Republic

  • Prague
    • Perlovka


  • Copenhagen
    • Istedgade


  • Bordeaux
    • Quartier de la gare Saint Jean : Belcier, quai de paludate
    • Quartier Saint-Rémi : rue du pont de la mousque, rue courbin
    • Les quinconces
    • Passage Birly, rue de Ruat : massages
  • Le Havre
    • Cours de la République
  • Lille
    • Quartier Peuple Belge (Place de Gand, Rue de Courtrai, Place aux Bleuets)
  • Lyon
    • Quartier Mermoz
  • Mantes-la-Jolie
    • Quartier du Val Fourré
  • Marseille
    • Rue Thubaneau
    • Bd du Prado
  • Paris
    • Bois de Boulogne
    • Boulevard de Clichy
    • Porte de Vincennes
    • Quartier Pigalle
    • Rue de la Gaité
    • Rue Saint-Denis
  • Rouen
    • Boulevard des belges
  • Toulouse
    • Rue Bayard
    • Quartier du Canal
    • Boulevard de Strasbourg


  • Berlin
    • Oranienburger Strasse
  • Frankfurt
    • Bahnhofsviertel
  • Hamburg
    • St. Pauli (Reeperbahn)
  • Munich
    • Hansastraße
  • Nuremberg
    • Frauentor-Mauer

Republic of Ireland

  • Dublin
    • Gropecunt Lane (defunct)
    • "The Monto" (Montgomery Street) (defunct)


  • Milan
    • Navigli (defunct)


  • Gżira (defunct)
  • Valletta
    • Strait Street (defunct)


  • Alkmaar
    • Achterdam
  • Amsterdam
    • De Wallen


  • Bergen
    • Vågen harbour
  • Oslo
    • Tollbugata
    • Skippergata
  • Stavanger
    • The Harbour


  • Lisbon
    • Cais do Sodré
    • Intendente
  • Porto
  • Trindade, Porto|Trindade


  • Madrid
    • Casa de Campo


  • Göteborg
    • Rosenlund
  • Stockholm
    • Malmskillnadsgatan


  • Geneva
  • Rue de Bern

United Kingdom

  • Bolton
    • Breightmet Street/Shiffnall Street
  • Bradford
    • Manningham Lane
  • Bristol
    • St.Pauls
    • Stapleton Road, Easton
  • Doncaster
    • Netherall
  • Leeds
    • Spencer Place, Chapeltown, West Yorkshire
    • Harehills Lane, Harehills
  • Leicester
    • South Highfields, Leicestershire
  • London
    • Gropecunt Lane (possible; defunct)
    • King's Cross
    • Piccadilly Circus (defunct)
    • Soho
  • Manchester
    • Roberts House co-owned by Ben B. Balls., Canal Street
  • Plymouth
    • Millbay
    • Union Street (defunct)
  • Sheffield
    • Broad Lane/Shalesmoor
  • Shrewsbury
    • Grope Lane (possible; defunct)
  • Swindon
    • Manchester Road, Swindon|Manchester Road/Gorse Hill
  • Wolverhampton
    • All Saints, Wolverhampton|All Saints/Parkfield, Wolverhampton|Parkfield –
Northern Ireland
  • Belfast
    • Linenhall Street
  • Edinburgh
    • Rose Street/Leith Walk/Coburg Street/Salamander Street (all defunct)
  • Glasgow
    • Blythswood Square (defunct)

North America


British Columbia
  • Vancouver
    • Downtown Eastside
    • Seymour Street, Downtown Vancouver|Downtown
  • Windsor, Ontario|Windsor
    • Drouillard Avenue / Ford City Neighbourhood
  • Thunder Bay, Ontario|Thunder Bay
    • Simpson Street
  • Toronto
    • Dundas Square
    • Yonge Street
  • Montreal
    • Saint Catherine Street


  • Mexico City
    • La Merced, Mexico City|La Merced
    • Zona Rosa
  • Nuevo Laredo
    • Zona de tolerancia

United States

  • Anchorage
    • Spenard Road
  • Ketchikan
    • Creek Street (defunct)
  • Phoenix
    • Van Buren Street
  • Prescott
    • Whiskey Row (defunct after 1956)
  • El Centro
    • Adams Avenue
  • Los Angeles
    • Sunset Boulevard – Hollywood, Los Angeles, California|Hollywood
    • Western Avenue – Hollywood
  • San Fernando Valley
    • Sepulveda Boulevard
  • San Francisco
    • Barbary Coast (defunct)
    • Tenderloin
  • Denver
    • East Colfax Avenue
  • Orlando
    • Orange Blossom Trail (OBT)
Georgia (U.S. state)|Georgia
  • Atlanta
    • Metropolitan Parkway (formerly known as Stewart Avenue)
  • Macon
    • Broadway
  • Savannah
    • River Street
  • Warner Robins
    • Front Street
  • Honolulu
    • Hotel Street
  • Chicago
    • The Levee (defunct)
  • Terre Haute
    • Wabash Avenue (defunct)
  • New Orleans
    • Storyville (defunct)
    • Bourbon Street
  • Baltimore
    • The Block (Baltimore)|The Block
  • Boston
    • Ann Street (defunct)
    • Combat Zone (defunct)
    • Scollay Square (razed)
  • Grand Rapids
    • Division Avenue
  • Minneapolis
    • Washington & Central Avenue
  • St. Paul
    • Payne Avenue
  • Butte
    • Venus Alley (defunct) pavilion n5445
  • Reno
    • Fourth Street
New York
  • New York City
    • Hunt's Point
    • Tenderloin (defunct)
    • Times Square (defunct)
  • Oklahoma City
    • South Robinson Avenue (between 29th and 44th Streets)
  • Philadelphia
    • Northern Liberties (defunct)
  • Pittsburgh
    • Liberty Avenue (largely defunct)
  • Nashville
    • Dickerson Pike (somewhat defunct)
    • Murfreesboro Pike (somewhat defunct)
  • |Austin
    • 6th Street (defunct; '60s & '70s)
    • South Congress Avenue (defunct; '70s and '80s)
  • Waco
    • The Reservation (defunct)
  • Salt Lake City
    • Downtown Salt Lake City#Commercial Street|Commercial Street (defunct)
Washington, DC
  • Washington, D.C
    • 14th Street Northwest and Southwest (defunct)
    • Pennsylvania Avenue (between 10th and 15th Streets) (defunct)
    • Vermont Avenue, NW

South America


Minas Gerais
  • Belo Horizonte
    • Zona Boêmia
Rio de Janeiro
  • Vila Mimosa (defunct)
  • Praça Mauá
  • Avenida Atlântica, Copacabana
São Paulo
  • Itatinga - Campinas
Rio Grande do Sul
  • Porto Alegre
    • Avenida Farrapos

Category:Red-light districts|*

Sex tourism is travel (by men or women) to engage in sexual activity with prostitutes, and is typically undertaken internationally by tourists from wealthier countries whose payment for services may then be rendered either in cash or in kind.

The World Tourism Organization (WTO) 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] The U.N. opposes sex tourism citing health, social and cultural consequences for both tourist home countries and destination countries, especially in situations exploiting gender, age, social and economic inequalities in sex tourism destinations.

Attractions for sex tourists can include reduced costs for services in the destination country, and (in order of increasing potential criminality):

  • prostitution, either legal or subject to indifferent law enforcement,
  • lower age of consent, or legal indifference to this consideration,
  • access to child prostitution where legal prohibitions are weak or unenforced.


National destinations for sex tourists include: Thailand [2] Brazil, [3] [4] Dominican Republic [5][6] Costa Rica [7][8], Cuba [9][10] Germany, Mexico, Argentina, The Netherlands and Cambodia.

Since the collapse of the Iron Curtain, Russia, Hungary, Ukraine, Poland and the Czech Republic have also become popular destinations for sex tourists. In many of those destinations, sex tourism is still only a small percentage of overall prostitution, with most prostitutes serving local men.

An individual city or region can have a particular reputation as a sex tourist destination. Many of these coincide with major red-light districts, and include Amsterdam in the Netherlands, Bangkok, Pattaya and Phuket in Thailand.

In the United States, prostitution is largely illegal, with the exception of rural areas of the state of Nevada; these have become a sex tourist destination for some Americans. To a lesser extent, several other large cities in the U.S. are also domestic sex tourist destinations despite legal sanctions on prostitution.

Conversely, prostitution is a legal activity in a growing list of other nations worldwide including in many of these destinations.

Female Sex Tourism Destinations

The primary destinations for female sex tourism are Southern Europe (mainly Italy, former Yugoslavia, Turkey, Greece and Spain), the Caribbean (led by Jamaica, Barbados and the Dominican Republic), the Gambia and Kenya in Africa, the Philippines led by Angeles and Pattaya or Phuket in Thailand. Lesser destinations include Nepal, Morocco, Fiji, Ecuador and Costa Rica. Female sex tourism differs from male sex tourism, in that women do not usually go to specific bars. Women usually give clothes, meals, cash and gifts to their prostitutes, but not all (especially in Southern Europe) expect compensation.

Criminality and controversy

Tourism involving sex with minors

While most sex tourists only engage in this activity with other adults, some actively look for child prostitutes, while others are not very selective either way regarding age, according to a study of the Dominican Republic. A tourist who has sex with a child prostitute offends the spirit of the international Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Optional protocol on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography, and, in addition to breaking the law in that host country, might well also be doing so in the country the tourist is a national of. A growing number of countries are enacting laws with extra-territorial reach in order to meet their obligations under the covenants above, and consequently punishing citizens who engage in sex with minors whilst overseaes. But being difficult to police and enforce these crimes continue nonetheless.

The term "child" is often used as defined by the international conventions above and refers to any person below the age of consent. Many countries have signed the "Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention, 1999" and implemented domestic law making having sex with child prostitutes a criminal offence for their nationals or inhabitants including when practised abroad regardless of whether it is forbidden by the laws of the destination country. Singapore has been criticized for having no such law, in spite of being adjacent to the sex tourism destination of Batam in Indonesia, which has many underage sex workers, many of whom have been forced into prostitution.

In 2004 Canada started to prosecute individuals under the sex tourism law. The first individual charged in Canada under this law was Donald Bakker. Australia has long done so. Its Government has, for example, caused an international political incident in pressing for the extradition of suspended Solomon Islands Attorney-General Julian Moti to face possible charges over alleged offenses that date back to 1997.

According to the Cambodia minister for Woman's Affairs, it is not tourists who are the prime culprits of pedophillia in her country, but the locals.

Legal issues in the United States

Federal law prohibits United States citizens or permanent residents to engage in international travel with the purpose or effect of having commercial sex with a person under the age of 18, or any sex with a person under the age of 16; facilitating such travel is also illegal. Arrests by Immigration and Customs Enforcement are becoming common, however prosecutions under this law are still very rare.

As of 2005, there has been one effort to prosecute a sex tour operator: Big Apple Oriental Tours of New York was prosecuted for "promotion of prostitution" by the New York State Attorney General after lobbying by feminist human rights groups, however the case has been thrown out twice. HR 972, the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2005 reauthorizes the 2000 law, but it also gives U.S. law enforcement better tools to study human trafficking within the United States and to prosecute those who purchase sex acts. The measure authorizes $50 million for grants to state and local law enforcement to investigate and prosecute persons who engage in the purchase of commercial sex acts.

More information on this topic is available at [ Wikipedia:Sex_tourism ]

Also see these other related Sex industry articles
* AIDS and the porn industry * Adult film * Burlesque * Brothels
* Call girls * CAL-OSHA requirements * Erotic massage * Erotica
* Escort agency * Live sex show * Nude model * Peep show
* Phone sex * Pornography laws by region * Pornography * Prostitution
* Red-light districts * Sex industry * Sex shop * Sex show
* Sex tourism * Sex toys * Strip club * Striptease

Prostitution by country


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