Tourism Policing in a University Setting

Tourism Policing in a University Setting

Copyright: © 2019 |Pages: 31
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-7579-5.ch006

Abstract

Chapter 6 examines the interplay between university students and the tourism industry and between the town and gown divide with regards to tourism. The chapter notes the sociological similarities between off-campus university life and its impact on both tourism and local economies. The chapter briefly touches upon study abroad programs and how US university police departments can aid students to be safe when traveling abroad.
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University Tourism Policing

University towns are to a great extent “tourism centers” or perhaps we can classify them as cities with a semi-permanent visitor population. There are a great deal of sociological similarities between university students and tourists. For example, many, non-resident university students (those living away from their family home) sociologically function, from the host community’s perspective, as if they were “long term guests.”

Many new-to-the-community college students, like tourists, tend to be anomic regarding the host community’s culture, or create subcultures within the general culture. Just as in the case of some visitors, university students might tend to lower their inhibitions. Time induced stress tends to have a major impact on these students. University students often see themselves as transient populations, and might feel isolated when faced with problems. Often just as there is a tourist district in a community there is also a “university district”. Student districts might not only have an abundance of specialty shops, such as bookstores and student-oriented restaurants, but also an active nightlife filled with entertainment centers and bars.

Often college towns find the need to legislate special noise requirements, and just as in the case of tourism, there can be a “gentle” confrontation between “the local community and the college community.” Host communities may well have a love-hate relationship with their student population.

The similarities then between a tourism-oriented community and a university-oriented community are many. There are, however, differences. At first glance an observer might assume that tourism communities tend to have a wider range of clientele. The observer might surmise that even in tourism-oriented communities that appeal to specific ages, there is greater age diversity. For example, communities such as Orlando (Florida) that seek young families are filled with the children’s parents and grandparents. This age diversity tends to lessen the influence of any one single age cohort. On the other hand, a single age grouping may well dominate a university community. This single age grouping, especially in large university communities, might create specific law enforcement challenges. For example, many tourism communities experience seasonality in the same manner as some tourism-oriented communities such as those that depend on sand and sea tourism. Seasonality means that populations tend to increase or decrease with the season causing either seasonal lay-offs or at times an excess of workers.

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