Sex tourism thrives as fans splurge dollars

Party fever rises as the sun sets in Mother City
Last Updated 07 July 2010, 17:47 IST

Be it the famous Long Street, the exotic Sea Point or the breathtaking Waterfront, sex workers are having a heyday at the popular spots of this beautiful port city, famous for the Table Top Mountain.

As the sun sets in this Mother City -- that’s what South Africans prefer to call it -- party fever rises and soccer fans venture out to glitzy bars to have their flings. “Long Street is the most happening street in this city as the bars stay open till late in the night. So you can have all sorts of entertainment. Flings are common and fans are not afraid of taking a risk,” said Peter Andre, a British fan.

The lodges and the backpackers’ inns in the city centre are overflowing with Dutch and Uruguayan supporters and that’s where business is booming. “In this part of the world you have to be very careful. The best thing is that there are no fixed rates and you can bargain,” Rafel de Villiers, a Dutch fan, who stays in a backpackers lodge on Long Street, said.

Long Street was once famous for sex workers and drug dealers. While the local authorities have come down hard on the latter, they have been able to do little to rein in prostitution.

From the streets, sex workers have made their way into the bars. They bribe the bouncers and get easy entry into bars for potential clients. But sex workers now fear business will not be as good as it was for the last one month.

“Business was good. And several sex workers from nearby countries also made their way into Cape Town. But we fear it won’t be as good after the World Cup. During the World Cup we used to get three to four clients everyday,” said Aneqaah who runs an escort agency.   

“We had a huge demand for white and coloured girls because all the fans who came here were from European countries. We got the best deals from British fans,” she added. The authorities have run a campaign during World Cup to raise awareness about HIV and AIDS in the city, with South Africa having the highest incidence of the disease in the world.

“We talk about responsibility, but not much of this is about tangible action. The tourism industry has the opportunity to spread a huge amount of awareness about responsible tourism,” said Cape Town Tourism CEO Mariette du Troit-Helmbold.

(Published 07 July 2010, 17:47 IST)

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