Kuhns, J.B., Spohn, C.C. & Wells, W. (2008). “Lodging security and crimes against tourists in a developing nation: Findings from a survey of establishment owners and managers in Tobago.” Caribbean Journal of Criminology and Public Safety, 13(1&2): 84-123.


In recent years, Tobago, a popular tourist island destination in the southern Caribbean, experienced steady and substantial increases in recorded crimes against tourists. As a part of an assessment of the overall crime problem, we surveyed the owners and managers of resorts, hotels, villas, and guesthouses in two high‐crime areas. The survey focused on security measures at the establishments and solicited perceptions of the nature and prevalence of crimes targeting tourists. The results reveal that lodging establishments—particularly villas and guesthouses—provide minimal security for guests, and crimes against tourists at these lodging establishments were not rare events. Further, although tourists staying in guesthouses had a higher likelihood of victimization than those staying in hotels and resorts, both burglaries and robberies were concentrated in a small number of hotels and resorts. Respondents from various types of establishments agreed that tourists become victims of crimes because they represent low‐risk targets, often engage in risky behaviors, and are too willing to trust local residents. Establishment managers also suggested that offenders do not fear arrest by the police because convictions are quite rare. We suggest that routine police patrols of neighborhoods where lodging establishments are concentrated, coupled with a more expeditious response to calls for service and immediate arrests of identified suspects, would deter offenders and protect potential victims. However, long term improvements in lodging security coupled with focused community policing, problem‐solving approaches, and situational crime prevention strategies would likely be effective at the most crime‐prone establishments in Tobago.

Year: 2008
Language: English
Type: Journal article