Natalie Semley



The growth of mass tourism has placed great pressure on British seaside destinations, and has contributed to the social costs experienced by the resident population via symptoms of changing perceptions, attitudes and behaviour towards tourism, and the presence of higher crime rates. This thesis examines the social reality experienced by residents, and determines the impacts of tourism-related crime upon two tourist communities which are experiencing high levels of crime. The comparative study of a British seaside resort and a coastal town reveals that tourism communities are influenced by individual resident opinions. Simultaneously these communities influence resident perception and behaviour towards tourism-related crime, and it is through this exchange process, that evidence of destination specific criteria has emerged. The research established that the resort community found commonality through the mutual gaze, whilst the coastal community formed closed perceptions of deviant activities through discord and the local gaze. The study concludes by arguing that a destination offering a hedonistic lifestyle will not necessarily have higher crime rates than other safer destinations. This is due to the widespread implementation of crime prevention methods in the resort, and the lack of deterrents established in the coastal town. Therefore there may be nothing criminogenic about these particular destinations. Instead, collective community perception, digressed through crime talk, has influenced community crime interpretation and individual resident evaluation of the tourism industry.

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