In the context of prostitution, it is important to mention that male prostitutes, gigolos or younger males offering their services to older women, is a growing and lucrative business in the tourist areas.

However, the most injurious among the ill-effects of tourism is the explosion of child prostitution.

It is estimated there are over 5000 child prostitutes in Sri Lanka today, most of them boys in the 7 to 16 age group.

Considerable numbers come from North America and Australia while the Commonwealth of Independent States, Eastern Europe, Middle East, Africa and Latin America register the smallest number of visitors.

While the Sri Lankan government planned tourist resorts and hotels with elite tourists in mind, the sixties brought in the low-budget or the "hippie" tourist who wandered along the coast seeking quieter and cheaper places.

Her husband is a fisherman and they used to live in her mother's house in the early years of her marriage.

Due to her husband's alcoholism, they had to move out to a place of their own.

Within the course of a few years, drug peddling, illegal gem businesses, petty trade, guided tours and prostitution offered additional income.

Women entered the tourism industry in limited capacities, as guest house owners, petty traders, and makers of clothing, handicrafts, and other wares.

Most governments of the South and South East Asian countries have adopted tourism as a strategy for development.

In the face of ever-declining terms of trade, international lending agencies with short-term interests have been urging these governments to diversify their economies to bring in much-needed foreign exchange.

The growth of tourism since then has been very rapid, although there were clear setbacks from 1983 onwards due to the separatist war that has gripped the country for over 17 years.

The majority of the tourists to Sri Lanka come from Western Europe with Asia following in second place.

So, despite tourism's adverse long term socio-cultural effects, its over-estimated economic benefits seem to override all policy and planning decisions.