Brothel says business booming during papal visit

A brothel offering a special discount during Pope Benedict XVI’s visit to Sydney said on Friday business had more than doubled since the pontiff arrived.

The owner of the upmarket bordello Xclusive said that she had hired extra women to meet increased demand during the July 15 to 20 World Youth Day events, which have seen hundreds of thousands of pilgrims descend on Sydney.

While the brothel was not targeting pilgrims, a 10% discount for people associated with World Youth Day, including the 3 000 to 5 000 media covering the papal visit, had significantly boosted business, she said.

“We put on another five staff and they’ve all been busy,” she said.

“We’ve had lots of foreign visitors but I can’t say specifically whether they are pilgrims or not.”

Sex industry insiders say that any time Sydney hosts a major event — from the 2003 Rugby World Cup to last year’s Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) summit — it is boom time for the sex industry.

News that Xclusive was preparing for increased demand during World Youth Day prompted 15 000 hits to the brothel’s website in 24 hours earlier this month and increased inquiries from overseas.

The owner said the pope’s mid-winter Australian visit, for celebrations designed to rejuvenate the Catholic Church among young people, came at a time when business was traditionally slow. – AFP

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