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Sex Tourism: The Gambia The Biggest Sex Tourism Destination In Africa

Story Highlights

  • Sex Tourism: Tourism In The Gambia
  • Sex Tourism
  • The Gambia’s tourism sexual economy

The Gambia is a popular destination for sex tourism. Sex tourism in the Gambia attract western female tourists eager for sex with younger men.

Country of Gambia is the biggest Sex Tourism destination in Africa for European women. Old, retired British women and other European women visits the country in search of young men to date or pay for sex.

One of the most popular areas is the “Senegambia strip”, the coastal area around Kololi, and is often arranged through local “bumsters”.

Sex Tourism: The Gambia The Biggest Sex Tourism Destination In Africa

Sex Tourism: Tourism In The Gambia

As a predominantly Islamic country with 1.8 million people and multiple ethnic groups, The Gambia is one of the smallest countries in continental Africa. However, it has developed a global reputation as a sex tourism destination.

Tourism is the largest industry after agriculture. It employs about 125, 500 people, and contributes 16% to The Gambia’s GDP (World Travel & Tourism Council 2014 Gambia).

Tourists can engage in many excursions to visit Katchikaily Crocodile pool, the old colonial village ofJanjangbureh (Georgetown), the former slave trade post in Albreda and Juffureh along with James Island, which was renamed Kunta Kinteh Island after the Alex Haley’s Roots Saga book and TV miniseries.

Tourists can also do bush and beach safaris, take river and fishing trips along the river Gambia, visit the prehistoric Wassu Stones circle, and lastly hang out with young trained official Gambian tour guides whose goal is to “enhance guest-host encounters” (visitthegambia.gm).

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Sexual Tourism

Sex Tourism: The Gambia The Biggest Sex Tourism Destination In Africa

The Gambian tourism board have failed to mention in many ways Gambian men and women have engaged in affective sexual economies with European tourists visiting the country. One component of tourists’ experiences above the usual excursions is the consumption of Gambian bodies. Both tourists and their Gambian mates fashion their sexual encounters as “relationships.”

These “relationships” called Sex Tourism provide Gambian men and women with opportunities to make a living, while tourists get the chance to satisfy their (neo-colonial) fantasies about young black bodies.

Very often the Gambian men who engage in Sex Tourism  are seen combing the beach looking for engagement with a potential tourist or other visitors. Some also serve as taxi drivers and often wait by the beachside looking for potential tourist clients in need of transportation.

Both Gambian men and women frequent many restaurants, bars, and night clubs located in the Kololi beach area, a site designed for tourism activities, looking to engage in a potential relationship with tourists.

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The Gambia’s tourism sexual economy

The Gambia’s tourism sexual economy is mainly grounded on the cheap labor of young Gambian men and women
who have very little economic opportunities. Their bodies are the main capital they possess as they are left to use their bodies to survive. These Gambian men and women offer their bodies (tactical sex) for consumption by usually older men and women Global North tourists.

Above and beyond their immediate objective to get access to resources, the young Gambian men and women’s long
term goal is to get visa sponsorship so that they can migrate to Europe in search of a better future.

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