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Crime against tourists
Crime in tourism is an important issue which increasingly effects the tourist’s travel decision. As a consequence it can significantly damage a location’s reputation and can hinder the tourism industry. Touristic destinations are confronted with a lot of different types of crimes done by locals and tourists whereas theft against tourists is the most perceivable one. For this reason, it is important to guarantee tourist’s safety and to build up the basic requirements for having crime under control. This paper addresses the victimization of tourists and mainly focuses on robberies of tourists personal belongings. Subsequently, it identifies a series of reasons for tourists being popular targets and provides different advices for preventing these crimes. The purpose of this article is to clarify the link between the tourist’s behavior and the crime at destinations against them and to give guidelines for avoiding victimization on destinations.
Victimization of tourists at holiday destinations
Tourists are mostly confronted with two kinds of crimes which can be classified as violence and theft. Violence against tourists can be in form of rape, kidnapping, murder, abuse or terrorism and can lead to fatal physical and psychological injuries. Woman and children are more endangered by violent attacks. This type of crime mostly appears at less crowded areas of a destination of at the evenings/nights where criminals feel secure and cannot be seen by other people. Theft is the most universalized type of crime at touristic locations. It does not only include the robbery of personal belongings but also scam, credit card frauds or rip-offs by taxi drivers. A robbery or rather pocketing is mostly done in crowded areas where tourists do not recognize a robbery due to the bulk of people around them and the pushing and poking of each other. Robberies at houses or hotels happen continuously whenever a criminal does not feel watched whereas scam or rip-offs are mostly not even recognized by tourists at all and can appear at all kind of tourists-host encounters (Petrocelli, 2008).
Tourists are easy targets
The growth of the tourism industry has led to an increase of opportunities for crime and there are multiple reasons for it. First of all, tourists have a lack of knowledge about the destination. They do not know the culture, lifestyle and the social structure of a destination. Additionally, they are not familiar with the danger at certain areas or situations. Furthermore, tourists have problems with the language and are not informed about how to contact the local authority so that most of the crimes are nor reported and criminals have a lot of time to hide. Besides this, a lot of tourists start to behave differently during their vacations. They are likely to be careless, relaxed and curious. Tourists are more risky and do not pay attention to safety. They start to visit places which are dangerous or conducive for crime e.g. narrow alleys without a tour guide and they accept rides or drinks from strangers. Another reason for them being good targets is that tourists are likely to carry things of high value such as electronic devices and sums of money. Furthermore, tourists leave their valuable devices in the public view and catch the attention of potential criminals. Apart from this, they drive rental cars or they walk with maps and therefore are very recognizable as foreigners. Tourists can also contribute to the local crime without even recognizing it. Buying designer things for little money leads to a rise of the black market and makes it to a high profitable industry for the locals (Pizam, 1996).
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