How far do people travel for sex

More tourists for Kenya - because of elephants and sex

After meager years in Kenya's tourism industry, 2018 was another record year: Two million international guests came to the country. Kenya is most frequently visited by Americans, followed by the British and Indians. The Germans come in fifth with 68,000 visitors, reports the World Travel and Tourism Council.

In previous years, tourism in Kenya had collapsed: poachers destroyed wildlife, terrorism frightened guests, and even the Ebola virus in West Africa, which did not even make it to the east coast of Africa, prevented holidaymakers from traveling to Kenya.

400 poached elephants grow to 40

Experts believe that this has to do with two things. On the one hand with a recovery of the animal world. Kenya is still one of the great safari destinations: In the national parks Amboseli, Tsavo East and Tsavo West there is an elephant guarantee, in the Masai Mara, bordering the Serengeti to the north, around two million wildebeest and zebras are walking in July and August on a hike.

But this diversity also attracted poachers, in 2012 400 elephants were slaughtered for their ivory. Since the Ministry of Tourism has been responsible for the national parks, an anti-poaching campaign has been initiated. It showed success: in 2018 only 40 elephants died from illegal hunting.

For Tourism Minister Najib Balala, everything is now going according to plan: up to five million tourists are expected to come annually in 2030, and the sector already accounts for 14 percent of economic output. There are currently 1.1 million jobs in the Kenyan tourism industry. "Every eleventh tourist creates a new job in Kenya," said Balala recently at the International Tourism Fair in Berlin.

Sex tourism is booming in Kenya

Those are the official numbers, because there are also a lot of unofficial jobs - like beach boys on Kenya's coast. Alongside the safari parks, these are the East African country's second tourist hotspot. And Kenya's coasts are also known for their sex tourism, not just since the Austrian film “Paradise: Love”.

State tourism expert Jake Grieves-Cook told Reuters: "Sex tourism isn't bad, but it's definitely something we frown about."

Young black men and women together with white senior citizens - these images are omnipresent. Recently the second largest Kenyan newspaper, "The Standard", denounced exactly that: The country was keeping itself in silence about sex tourism and would accept it - and sometimes even admire the compatriots concerned.

The young Kenyans benefit financially from the respective connection - at the same time, white partners are also a status symbol. Nevertheless, the relationship is not based on love, but on money for sex, a modern form of prostitution, albeit legal. This is one of the reasons why “The Standard” describes the model as a rip-off and a fraud.

If he doesn't perform, he won't get anything to eat. End of the story.

Canadian sex tourist

While sex tourism was dominated by older white vacationers for decades, older white women are increasingly traveling to Africa for sex. The South African news network “IOL”, on the other hand, writes about female love tourism instead of female sex tourism.

The critical online magazine "The African Exponent" writes that sex tourism is another form of racism, dependence and power and a return to the colonial past. One Canadian woman stated, for example: “If he doesn't perform, he won't get anything to eat. End of the story. "

Kenya is the third most visited country in sub-Saharan Africa, only South Africa and Nigeria recorded more tourists in 2018 - albeit with a smaller increase. Globally, Sub-Saharan Africa is the second fastest growing region in terms of tourism. Nigeria is also known for its sex tourism.