Recession Hits Global Sex Industry

      May 14, 2009 10:25

      Some industries tend to flourish in a recession, most notably the gambling and sex industries. But the current crisis is so powerful that even sex industry is struggling to make ends meet.

      The Wall Street Journal on Tuesday reported Playboy Enterprises, which runs Playboy Magazine, recorded a net loss of US$13.7 million in the first quarter this year despite aggressive efforts to cut costs. Playboy already started a restructuring program and has laid off around 25 percent of the workforce since October. The company plans to raise the price of the magazine and decrease the print run, but many are skeptical about the effectiveness of such plans.

      Playboy is not the only one hit by the economic downturn. The London Independent recently reported that sex workers in Germany, where prostitution is legal, are taking various recession-busting measures. Growing numbers of brothels are employing modern marketing strategies and offering discounts to taxi drivers who bring in customers. The red light district in Hanover has turned to aggressive marketing after revenue dropped by over 30 percent compared to last year.

      The Czech Republic, which has one of the largest sex tourism industries in Europe, has been hit badly by the recession. According to a survey firm in Prague, 60 percent of the money spent in the country by foreign tourists comes from the sex industry, but since the largest customer groups -- English and German men -- were dwindling, the recession has hit the Czech sex industry hard.

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