They are called ‘bumsters’ in Gambia, ‘Rastitutes’ or ‘beach boys’ in the Caribbean and ‘sanky pankies’ in the Dominican Republic.
These are the men who, in increasing numbers, are providing sex in return for money or goods to women who want a holiday ‘romance’.
The men are invariably from impoverished families, have little or no education and are sometimes illiterate.
Most of the women are white, middle-aged or older and come from Europe and North America.
They travel alone or with female friends and often have a history of unhappy relationships with men at home.
They are looking for attention and excitement but end up, often without realising it, being one half of a prostitution deal.
Barbara is one such woman. In her late 50s and divorced, she travelled to Jamaica for her first holiday alone last winter. She had fantasies about sunbathing on white sand and swimming in a clear blue sea, but no plans for a holiday romance.
Her destination was an all-inclusive resort in Negril, on the western tip of Jamaica, one of the biggest destinations for female sex tourism.
‘I got off the plane at Montego Bay and — boom! — there he was,’ she tells me over the phone from her home city of Sheffield.
‘I have never seen a man as fit as Chris. His dreadlocks were down his back and his legs were like a footballer’s. I thought: “Why is he looking at me like he fancies me? I’m not his type.”’
Soon Barbara threw aside her inhibitions and realised she could behave in a way she would never dare to at home.
‘It was like total freedom. Chris was all over me and I couldn’t get enough of that beautiful body,’ she says.
‘He showered me with compliments about my legs, my hair, how I smelled, everything. He even said he liked my accent.’
Barbara’s previous marriage had been abusive and damaging, leaving her feeling, as she puts it, ‘worthless and like no man would ever look at me again’.
She says: ‘Chris made me feel gorgeous and special straight away.’
Yet this was the beginning of not a holiday romance but a commercial exchange between a relatively rich Westerner and an impoverished ‘beach boy’.
It is prostitution, but often only the seller, and not the buyer, is aware of that.
Barbara realised Chris viewed her as a sex tourist only when one day he told her, ‘No money, no sex’, after she refused to give him cash for a drug deal.
Barbara, like many women who find ‘romance’ in Negril, says she is shunned by men of her own age in the UK, ‘because they want thinner, younger women and for some reason can get them’.
Over the past decade, I have been researching the increase in female sex tourism in underdeveloped and poorer countries.
I made contact with Barbara through a social networking site where I had discovered women exchanging details about long-distance romances with men in Jamaica.
Not one of the women used the phrase ‘sex tourism’, but most of them discussed how they had sent money to their ‘boyfriends’ to pay an urgent debt or to rent accommodation in time for their next visit.
None would give me their full names, because their friends and family members are not aware they have been going abroad for sex.
‘Chris moved into my hotel room with me and we had wild sex every night,’ Barbara says.
‘At first, he insisted on paying for everything, but after a couple of days he said he was owed money by a business contact and I had to bankroll him until it came through.’
Barbara is on an administrator’s salary in the UK, but one evening in her £120-a-night hotel would cost any of its own porters four weeks’ wages.