The Negative Impact Of Spring Break On The Local Residents Of Popular Tourist Destinations

1685 words - 7 pages

Tourism has a profound ripple effect on the local residents’ incomes and daily routines at a popular tourist destination by directly or indirectly influencing their everyday quality of life. (Wall & Mathieson, 2006, p.227). Local economies transform to fit the demands of tourists rather than the demands of the locals. The local economy may benefit from tourism with the increase of employment and trade opportunities, financial investments, as well as improvement in infrastructure. On the other hand, tourism can give the local economy a black eye with increases in crime, prostitution and illegal drug activity. Local residents may have varying opinions on tourism and they range from good to bad, based on what part of the spectrum they are affected by.
Spring Break is one of the most anticipated vacation breaks during a college student’s academic calendar. Depending on what area of the country, spring break is usually ranges from late February to early April, when North American college students break away from their day-to-day lives on campus and migrate to a popular spring break hot spot. Research has showcased that the “college spring break phenomenon” in the United States has been recognized for “excessive” behavior of students while visiting involves a tremendous consumption of alcohol, drugs, increased sexual activity and other hedonic conduct (Josiam, Hobson, Dietrich & Smeaton, 1998; Sonmez et all, 2006). Thousands of spring breakers flood into vacation hot spots with millions of dollars being exchanged between students, bars, hotels, restaurants and retailers. A sliver of the community reaps the benefits of the tourism dollar but all the residents at the spring break destinations are plagued with huge crowds, traffic jams, rowdy behavior, and pollution (Josiam et al., 1998)
College students have casted quite a dark cloud in various cities because of their rowdy behavior. For example, Fort Lauderdale is one of the original spring break destinations but no longer hosts crazy collegiate coeds because many of the locals have taken a stance and the local city councils have made it undesirable.
There have been numerous studies about attitudes regarding tourism but the studies have failed to take in account the effects on the local residents in the hot spots for tourists. The studies have also failed to expand on the impacts in regard of attitudes and place attachment except for a few outliers such as Gu and Ryan, 2008). The purpose of this paper is to highlight the drop off in the quality of life that local residents experience while millions of dollars pour into the economy based on there hard sweat and tears.
Tourism policy makers need to understand and support the local residents by taking in their experience towards tourism because it is required for the success of tourism activities in the area. Tourism development and policy making need to go hand in hand in order to create benefits to all stakeholders and prevent an increase in costs...

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