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Tourism and Crime: A Typological Analysis

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This article addresses the issue of crime in relation to tourism—and is not nation specific. The aim here is to provide a frame of reference, and illustrations, for studies of tourism and crime: it is a conceptual outline rather than a meta-study of empirical research. It is argued here that an understanding of the range, types, and implications of tourism and crime is as important, at this stage, as is reportage of individual substantive findings. Thus, this article attempts to provide a typology that might provide a frame of reference for future studies, and is not a meta-study. Tourism and crime is a part of the larger issue of tourist satisfaction, and of the well-being of tourist host places. Among the issues here are those of tourists as perpetrators, and tourists as victims; the limitations of officially recorded facts of crime and perceptions of risk; crimes specific to tourism; and the implications for residence, citizenship, and fugitive status. Many studies on tourism report, quite rightly, on the economic benefits of tourism. That position should also be seen as complemented by the countervailing views of the economic and social costs [economic (ir)rationalism versus social (ir)rationalism]. While it is possible to make estimates of the economic costs of tourist-implicated crime, it is more difficult to assess the social and political implications. This article attempts to provide a conceptual analysis that may aid that process.


Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: March 1, 2010

More about this publication?
  • Tourism, Culture & Communication is international in its scope and will place no restrictions upon the range of cultural identities covered, other than the need to relate to tourism and hospitality. The Journal seeks to provide interdisciplinary perspectives in areas of interest that may branch away from traditionally recognized national and indigenous cultures, for example, cultural attitudes toward the management of tourists with disabilities, gender aspects of tourism, sport tourism, or age-specific tourism.

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