Thursday, 5 June 2008

Pope's visit to Australia will drive up trips to brothels

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Here's an unfortunate knock-on effect if ever there was one – market research analysts IBIS World predict that the Pope's July visit to Sydney for Catholic World Youth Day will lead to an increase in business for the city's brothels, strip clubs and prostitutes.

225,000 pilgrims and clergy are expected at the event, which runs from 15-20 July, but Ed Butler of IBIS World was keen to stress that it is unlikely to be the Catholics, or that matter the Pope himself, caught with their trousers down:

"Any major event will drive tourism, which is closely related to the sex industry … and World Youth Day will also bring out a certain number of non-religious people."

Because, obviously, it's only those pesky "non-religious people" (who Fox Australia clarify as "tourists, support staff and media") who do things like visiting strip clubs and prostitutes. With this in mind, I thought I'd have a look what World Youth Day is all about. For a start it's a five-day event, so the Catholic Church is clearly not concerned by any kind of trade description legislation, and it "brings together young people from around the globe to celebrate and learn about their faith on a more regular basis."

Two things come to mind here. Firstly, of those 225,000 attendees, how many of the young people will be there entirely on the back of their own initiative and religious zeal, and how many will have been sent there by their parents? Secondly, this being a massive Catholic youth event, how much of it will consist of telling the young pilgrims (who are away from home in Australia's biggest city for 5 days) to steer clear of having sex?

If you follow my argument, you may agree that it might not just be those depraved "non-religious people" setting out on pilgrimages to Sydney's brothels and strip clubs next month...

[Thanks to Christina for the link]