Social representations and community attitudes towards spring breakers

Monterrubio, Juan Carlos and Andriotis, Konstantinos ORCID logoORCID: (2014) Social representations and community attitudes towards spring breakers. Tourism Geographies, 16 (2) . pp. 288-302. ISSN 1461-6688 [Article] (doi:10.1080/14616688.2014.889208)

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Social representations theory has been adopted for explaining tourism impacts and local attitudes. However, its usefulness in segmenting local population in terms of their attitudes towards specific types of tourists has not been tested. This study identifies the attitudes of local people towards spring break, a North American young tourist phenomenon in the context of the Mexican beach resort of Acapulco. Although residents perceive an increase in alcohol consumption, drug use, noise and litter during the spring break season, they largely recognise economic benefits and are thus generally supportive for the phenomenon. Based on these attitudes, three clusters were identified: spring break supporters (identified by their high appreciation of spring break benefits), ambivalents (who are uncertain about both benefits and costs) and realistics (characterised by recognising both benefits and costs). The main contribution of this study lies in the confirmation of the usefulness of social representations theory in explaining residents’ attitudes towards a very specific type of tourists whose hedonist behaviours are a common characteristic.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Tourism Geographies (Special Issue: Cultural Geographies of Tourism: Image, Identity and Place)
Keywords (uncontrolled): spring break; social representations; community attitudes; tourism impacts; Mexico; segmentation
Research Areas: A. > Business School > Marketing, Branding and Tourism
Item ID: 14458
Notes on copyright: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Tourism Geographies on 03 Mar 2014, available online:
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Depositing User: Konstantinos Andriotis
Date Deposited: 20 Mar 2015 10:54
Last Modified: 29 Nov 2022 23:47

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