Berlin brothel offers discounts for cyclists

BERLIN Mon Jul 13, 2009 4:31pm BST

In this file photo participants ride their bicycles past the German cathedral (L) and the television tower (R) during a Velothon street race in Berlin May 25, 2008. A Berlin brothel has come up with a novel way to negate the impact of the global economic crisis and target a new group of customers at the same time -- offering a discount to patrons who arrive on bicycles. REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch

In this file photo participants ride their bicycles past the German cathedral (L) and the television tower (R) during a Velothon street race in Berlin May 25, 2008. A Berlin brothel has come up with a novel way to negate the impact of the global economic crisis and target a new group of customers at the same time -- offering a discount to patrons who arrive on bicycles.

Credit: Reuters/Fabrizio Bensch

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BERLIN (Reuters) - A Berlin brothel has come up with a novel way to negate the impact of the global economic crisis and target a new group of customers at the same time -- offering a discount to patrons who arrive on bicycles.

"The recession has hit our industry hard," said Thomas Goetz, owner of the "Maison d'envie" brothel.

"Obviously we hope that the discount will attract more people," he added. "It's good for business, it's good for the environment -- and it's good for the girls."

Customers who arrive on bicycle or who can prove they took public transportation get a 5-euro (4 pounds) discount from the usual 70-euro ($100) fee for 45 minute sessions, Goetz told Reuters. He said the environmentally friendly offer was working.

"We have around 3-5 new customers coming in daily to take advantage of the discount," he said, adding the green rebate has helped alleviate traffic and parking congestion in the neighbourhood.

Germany is one of the few countries in the world where prostitution is legal. It has about 400,000 prostitutes who, since 2002, have been allowed to enter formal labour contracts.

(Reporting by Caroline Copley; Editing by Robin Pomeroy)

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