Home Volume 4
Tourist scams: exploring the dimensions of an international
tourism phenomenon

Philip L. Pearce1*

Received: 30/01/2011 Accepted: 05/04/2011

1Foundation Professor of Tourism, School of Business, James Cook University, Townsville, Queensland, Australia 4811; tel: 6147814762; fax: 6147814019; email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
*Corresponding author

Tourist scams exist in many countries and are a subset of the long standing research area concerned with crimes against tourists. In this paper it is suggested that a defining feature of the tourist scam is the initial involvement of the tourist in the activity either through their gullibility or personal desire for an unusual or easy gain. This paper locates tourist scams in the literature on crimes against tourists and reviews work on scams in order to develop a category scheme portraying these encounters. Data collected in Thailand provide examples of scams to underpin the construction of a scheme which identifies tourist service scams, general retail scams and social interaction scams. The attribution of responsibility literature is used to interpret how scam victims are seen. A role for international comparative studies is suggested to better explain and potentially limit scam practices.


© 2011 International University College. All rights reserved

Keywords: tourist scams, crime, attribution, responsibility, Thailand, international comparisons
Citation: Pearce, P.L., (2011) Tourist scams: exploring the dimensions of an international tourism phenomenon. European Journal of Tourism Research 4(2), pp. 147-156

European Journal of Тourism Research