The Australian sex industry will see an upsurge in customers thanks to the most unlikely of sources - World Youth Day, predicts a new report by Industry analysts IBISWorld.
The report predicts that the 2008-09 financial year would see strong growth for brothels, strip clubs and prostitutes, primarily on the back of a marked increase in tourism levels to Sydney as a result of the Catholic Church's World Youth Day.
IBIS World senior industry analyst Ed Butler said the report did not suggest the 225,000 international pilgrims or clergy would be heading to brothels or strip clubs.
But the event, to be held from July 15 to 20, would also draw people from outside the church including tourists, support staff and media - and some of them would use the sex industry's services.
"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," News.com.au quoted him, as saying.
"Growth would be estimated to be greater, but the religious nature of the event is likely to have a dampening effect on growth rates, as many of the visitors may have moral anxieties relating to this particular industry's services," he added.
IBIS World estimated the sex industry's revenue to grow from 1.13 billion Australian dollars in 2007-08 to 1.22 billion Australian dollars in 2008-09.