Residents Perceptions of Spring Break Tourism: The Involvement or Empowerment Perspective

This study examined the attitudes towards Spring Break niche tourism that has developed over the past 40 years in the United States, especially given popular perceptions and associations. Insights from numerous tourism studies concerned with local attitudes imply that residents interest in travel and tourism is likely to moderate their attitudes toward niche tourism in their own community. In reference to both conventional and niche tourism markets, several scholars have recognized shifts in community perceptions of tourism benefits or costs in relation to their own potential authority or power in tourism matters. However, as research on niche tourism products and markets is limited, equally limited is the understanding of the role of residents general interest with tourism or travel and empowerment in tourism decision-making. An important contribution of this paper to the body of literature on tourism attitudes is that it brings to attention the importance of residents Involvement with travel or tourism in perceptions of niche markets. To enrich the findings, this study examined differences in attitudes toward Spring Break tourism associated with perceived empowerment.