Drug Tourism: General Overview, Case Studies and New Perspectives in the Contemporary World

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Abstract

Several are the motivations and natures of the activities undertaken by tourists, leading to the existence of different types of tourism, which, according to the World Tourism Organization, can be divided into major segments (e.g. Sun & Beach Tourism, Ecotourism and etc.); each one with its own subcategories, as the religious tourism, experience tourism and so on. So, would it be possible to talk about drug tourism? Where, the drug itself would present a significant role as a motivation for travelling. Drug tourism could be seen as the journeys undertaken with the purpose of obtaining or using drugs, which are not available or are illegal in the tourist origin places. The purpose of this article was to provide a general discussion on the subject of drug tourism. In this task, some important examples were cited and the positive and negative impacts on the country or region of destination, the relationships between the different types of drug tourism with the major segments defined by the UNWTO, as well as new perspectives in this field were also discussed. As a case study, were presented information about cannabis tourism in Amsterdam, Netherlands (derived from literature searches and questionnaires in field research). This is a topic discussed only superficially but which is an obvious reality in various tourist destinations. Therefore, it is essential the development of a deeper treatment (deprived of prejudices) about the changes occurring in the contemporary world (concerning the drug politics), which may open new frontiers for this type of tourism.

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European Journal of Tourism, Hospitality and Recreation

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