10 Top Sex Tourism Countries

Sex tourism is a complex and often controversial subject that intertwines with various aspects of society, including economics, law, and culture. When discussing countries known for sex tourism, it’s essential to consider factors such as religion, governance, economic status, and geographic location, which all play crucial roles in shaping the landscape of sex tourism.

Sex industry in Thailand

Thailand is a predominantly Buddhist country where the religion’s tolerant attitude does not explicitly condemn prostitution, allowing the sex industry to become a significant, albeit controversial, part of the economy. Thailand’s governance, a constitutional monarchy with a history of military coups, has seen fluctuating policies towards sex work. Despite its middle-income status, economic disparities and rural poverty drive many to the sex industry. Located in Southeast Asia, Thailand’s tropical climate and rich culture attract tourists, including those seeking sexual services. The persona of sex tourists in Thailand varies widely, encompassing individuals from various international backgrounds, often from wealthier nations looking for inexpensive sexual encounters.

The Netherlands

The Netherlands, particularly known for Amsterdam’s Red Light District, showcases a very liberal approach to sex work, deeply rooted in its Protestant background which emphasizes personal responsibility and social tolerance. As a democratic parliamentary constitutional monarchy, the Netherlands has legalized and regulated prostitution, aiming to protect workers and reduce crime. Being one of the world’s most developed economies, the country attracts sex tourists not due to economic disparity but because of its open regulatory environment. The typical persona here includes tourists from around the globe who are drawn by the novelty and legality of the sex industry.

Is sex work legal in Brazil?

Brazil, with its vibrant culture and festive spirit, reflects its Roman Catholic heritage, which officially disapproves of prostitution. However, the reality is more nuanced, with sex work being legal. Brazil’s federal republic system faces challenges in regulating and controlling the sex industry, especially given the country’s economic inequalities. Located in South America, its warm climate and famous carnivals attract many tourists, some of whom engage in sex tourism. The visitors are often from both economically developed and developing countries, seeking escapades in Brazil’s lively urban and beach settings.

The Dominican Republic

The Dominican Republic, a predominantly Catholic country, grapples with the church’s opposition to prostitution, which is nonetheless legal and widespread. Its democratic government struggles with economic challenges, making tourism, including sex tourism, a significant income source. Located on an island in the Caribbean, its tropical allure draws many tourists, including sex tourists primarily from North America and Europe, attracted by the relative affordability and accessibility.


Spain, a country with a deep Catholic tradition, has a complex relationship with sex work, which is not fully regulated but widely tolerated. Its parliamentary monarchy, combined with a high level of development, contrasts with high unemployment rates, influencing the sex tourism industry. Positioned in Southern Europe, Spain’s rich history, culture, and Mediterranean climate attract a diverse group of tourists, including those interested in sex tourism, who are typically Europeans and others attracted by the country’s liberal social atmosphere.

The Philippines

The Philippines, a predominantly Catholic country, experiences a clash between its religious values and the realities of sex tourism, which is officially illegal but nonetheless exists. Its democratic system and status as a developing economy contribute to a situation where poverty can drive individuals into the sex industry. Located in Southeast Asia, its archipelagic nature offers beautiful landscapes that, alongside economic disparities, attract sex tourists, often from wealthier Western and East Asian countries, seeking exploitative relationships due to economic imbalances.

Pragmatic sex in Germany?

Germany, with its Protestant and Catholic roots, adopts a very pragmatic approach to sex work, which is fully legal and regulated, reflecting its liberal and progressive societal values. As a federal parliamentary republic, it boasts one of the world’s largest economies, with sex tourism being a small part of its diverse tourism industry. Located in Central Europe, Germany attracts a varied clientele, including locals and Europeans, who are drawn by the legality and regulation of the sex industry.


Mexico’s Catholic heritage informs its generally conservative stance on sex work, which is nonetheless legal and regulated in certain parts of the country. Despite being a federal republic with a developing economy, economic disparities and tourism draw individuals into sex work. Its location in North America, with diverse landscapes and climates, attracts sex tourists primarily from the US and Canada, looking for affordable and accessible sexual encounters near their home countries.


Cambodia, a predominantly Buddhist country, faces a complex challenge with sex tourism, which thrives despite legal prohibitions, partly due to poverty and economic necessity. Its government, a constitutional monarchy transitioning from decades of conflict, struggles to combat sex tourism effectively. Located in Southeast Asia, its rich cultural heritage and historic sites, juxtaposed with economic hardships, attract sex tourists, often from more developed Asian countries and the West, exploiting economic vulnerabilities.


Indonesia, with the world’s largest Muslim population, officially prohibits prostitution under Islamic law. However, sex tourism exists in certain areas, highlighting the tension between religious values and economic realities. As a democratic republic, it faces challenges in addressing sex tourism amid its diverse and sprawling archipelago. Tourists, including those seeking sexual services, are drawn to Indonesia’s stunning natural beauty and cultural diversity, with sex tourists coming from a variety of backgrounds, exploiting the economic disparities they find.
The personas engaging in sex tourism are diverse, ranging from individuals seeking companionship or adventure to those exploiting economic disparities for sexual exploitation. This complex issue highlights the intersection of economics, law, culture, and morality, requiring nuanced approaches to address the challenges and protect vulnerable populations.