This book explores the cultural and sexual economies of tourism in the Brazilian state of Bahia, known as the “Black Mecca” of Brazil, in order to make sense of how racism, eroticization, and commodification play out in the context of transnational tourism. More specifically, it examines sex tourism's so-called ambiguous entanglements as well as the specter of sex tourism. It also examines the meanings and implications of sex tourism for daily life, romantic relationships, and the transnational mobility of multiple actors in Bahia based on interviews, conducted between June 2005 and August 2008, with a broad range of people, including foreign tourists, tour guides, sex workers, and representatives of nongovernmental organizations. Finally, the book interrogates questions of globalization, political economy, and transnationalism by analyzing the racialized and sexualized dynamics of Salvador, the capital of Bahia, as well as the implications of the specter of sex tourism in the city. This introduction provides an overview of the tourism industry and tourism studies research as well as the book's arguments, theoretical frameworks, research methodologies, and chapters.
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