Possible reasons for seeking sex in another country or region:
- more relaxed morality laws (for some people a lower age of consent may also be relevant)
- less rigorous enforcement of laws
- cheaper rates (typically due to traveling from a economically wealthy country to a poorer one)
- more anonymity / privacy
- finding certain ethnic groups more attractive
- preferring the "work ethics" of foreign prostitutes to those of one's own country
- finding sex in tropical surroundings and a hot climate more arousing
Common destinations for sex tourists include Brazil, Thailand, Cambodia, Costa Rica, and Cuba. Since the collapse of the Iron Curtain, Russia, Hungary and the Czech Republic have also become popular destinations for sex tourists. In many of those destinations, sex tourism is still only a small percentage of overall prostitution, with most prostitutes serving local men.
Destinations for female sex tourism include the Caribbean, Gambia, and some North African countries. This variant of sex tourism usually doesn't include outright prostitution, as some local males consider it a kind of sport to pick up female tourists, since sex with local women out of a commited relationship is hard to get for them.
While most sex tourists only engage in this activity with other adults, a small percentage actively look for adolescent or even younger prostitutes, while others are not very selective either way, regarding age. Several countries have severe laws making sex with children (see pedophilia and ephebophilia) a serious offense, for their nationals or inhabitants even if practiced abroad and even if it is not forbidden by the laws of the foreign country, see also Universal Jurisdiction.
Near borders of countries with different laws regarding sex shops, these shops on one side tend to be popular with customers from the other side.