Residents’ attitudes toward prostitution in Macau

Libo Yan, Jing (Bill) Xu, (Joe) Yong Zhou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


An increase in tourism in popular destinations often leads to a growing need for various services, including sex-related services, which can exacerbate or accelerate social problems in the host community. Although often addressed in tourism studies within broad-ranging social impact research, prostitution in tourism destinations deserves independent investigation due to its complex nature. This study was conducted to investigate the opinions of Macau residents on prostitution and related social issues. We collected data using a questionnaire, which revealed the following results. Respondents tended to regard prostitution as a permanent part of the Macau community and believed that the likelihood of the government being able to eliminate prostitution through legislation was extremely low. Their perceptions of prostitution could be placed within the dichotomy of deviance and normativeness. Regarding prostitution as a normative existence was positively related to the acceptance of sex tourism. A tolerance of negative tourism impacts was associated with residents’ perceived quality of life. We ultimately draw conclusions from these findings and consider their implications for government agencies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)205-220
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Sustainable Tourism
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Prostitution
  • negative tourism impacts
  • quality of life
  • sex tourism
  • social tolerance


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