Sex and Tourism are two words that are as old as the dictionary itself but Sex Tourism dates back to a while after the death of Christ. Sex tourism has been defined on Wikipedia as travel to a different locality for the sole aim of sexual activity, particularly with prostitutes in most cases. The World Tourism Organization (WTO) which is a specialized agency of the United Nations, defines sex tourism as “trips organized either or outside the tourism sector, but using its networks and structures, with the primary aim of commercial sexual relationship by the tourist with residents of the chosen destination”.
Reasons for such activities can include lower costs of sexual services in the destination country particularly third world countries like Nigeria where the citizens are ready to trap anyone with an accent for the hope of getting citizenship elsewhere hence sex tourist knowingly use this trick for free sex, some climes have a more favourable local attitudes towards prostitution where parents even encourage it due to poverty as they see it as an escape route. For some other sex tourists, it is usually because they are bored of their usual social, sexual and physical environment, legality of prostitution or indifference of law enforcement, and access to Child prostitution. For Some, sexual activity while traveling is both adventure and a way of enhancing their travel experience. However, social issues become a reality when countries and/or cities acquire a reputation as a destination for sex tourism.
Sex tourism has become synonymous with various countries. They have become a top travel destinations purely for the sex industry. Countries like Cambodia, Dominican Republic, Thailand, The Netherlands, Spain, Brazil etc are well known destination for sex tourists.
Today, Sex tourists are paying attention to Africa and the reason is not far-fetched. Nigeria which has the highest number of poor people in the world and Africa’s largest population seems to be their golden destination for male sex tourist especially from America because unlike countries like Germany, spain and the Netherlands where Prostitution and even street prostitution is wide spread and completely legal, prostitutes have unlimited access free STD testing because they believe that criminalization of sex-related jobs will only increase workers’ vulnerability to HIV by discernment and stigma because not only does the judgment sex workers do feel within the healthcare community keep them from seeking timely treatment, it will also adversely affects their self-esteem and informed health choices.
The story in Africa is the exact opposite, In Nigeria, Ghana and Kenya which are countries that are relatively easier to visit in Africa and has one of the largest sex tourism industries on the continent. These countries does not discourage the practice despite the high level of STDs and HIV prevalent largely due to unemployment, Hunger and poverty. Interestingly, they are the most popular destination among older white men and women who want to ‘buy’ some time with a sexual partner; I used the word “BUY” because a large majority of their population are unemployed and are ready to live with you in any chosen location for round the clock sex so long as you pay the bills. Children are also lured into prostitution by tourists and in most cases with their parent’s approval as long as they are willing to pay handsomely for sex.
Forty-year-old French tourist, Jean Michel, has confessed to having sexual intercourse with more than 1,400 girls from six African countries-namely Nigeria, Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Togo, Ghana and Guinea, adding that he impregnated over 600 of the women within two years. According to him, he rented a furnished apartment in Ikoyi, Lagos Nigeria and was in Lagos for six months. He spent 100,000 euros and slept with 230 girls. According to him, Nigerian Girls were always available and very easy to deceive, “Nigeria was where I got more girls. I did not speak English, and it seems Nigerian girls love foreigners.”
Kelvin Adrian Inocent is 42 year old American sex tourist who have been to and still travels to Ghana, Kenya and Nigeria 4 or five times a year for sex. Africans, as we all know, is easily deceived with an accent not to talk of an individual with an American passport, this makes his preys very vulnerable, He doesn’t have a job as his wife Yma Monet Inocent takes care of him financially and also takes care of their two disabled kids one named Ethan, hence providing him with the time to move around as much as he wants.
His approach is quite simple, he meets these ladies online build up communication overtime with a promise of divorcing his wife and marrying them in and in some cases he even meets the parents of the lady.
Grant Spectre is not so different from Mr Kelvin Adrian Inocent, He is a Swedish national who currently lives in New Jersey, he boasts about sex tourism and is paying attention to Africa as well, He was in Nigeria in February and according to him he had sex with over 25 ladies in less that 3weeks while they all claimed to be in love with them.
And to top it all, the sex tourism industry is worth billions with millions of sex workers, both legal and illegal scattered around the globe. Africa government needs to realise this “hidden” sector and find a way to integrate it and start earning from it.