Though increasingly a focus of both political concern and academic research, ‘sex tourism’ is a difficult term to define. This article presents both quantitative and qualitative data on the sexual behaviour and attitudes of single and/or unaccompanied heterosexual female tourists in the Dominican Republic and Jamaica. In so doing it aims to contribute to the body of research evidence on the phenomenon, as well as to highlight some of the conceptual problems associated with existing analyses of both ‘sex tourism’ and ‘romance tourism’. It calls for the development of a theoretical model of sex tourism which can accommodate both the diversity of tourist-related sexual-economic exchanges which take place in economically underdeveloped countries and the complexity of the power relations that underpin them.
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