Do Tourists Report Crime to the Police? An Exploratory Analysis in Barcelona

David Buil-Gil, Rob I. Mawby

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Police-recorded crime data is commonly used to assess the crime risk of tourists and locals. Police records, however, are affected by different crime reporting rates across population groups. No research has explored the different crime reporting propensities of tourists and locals. We analyse two sets of surveys in Barcelona, a general population survey and a survey to tourists. Our results show that while international tourists are less likely to report personal crime to the police than locals, and domestic tourists may also be more likely than international tourists to report personal crime, both international and domestic tourists report vehicle crime more often than locals. Moreover, some individual predictors of crime reporting vary between locals and tourists. New means of encouraging visitors to report crime are needed, for example, through further dissemination of information about how to report from the hotel, specialist tourism police units, or dedicated tourism victims’ support services.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2931-2947
JournalCurrent Issues in Tourism
Issue number18
Early online date31 Jul 2022
Publication statusPublished - 18 Aug 2023


  • Crime survey
  • crime reporting
  • dark figure of crime
  • policing
  • survey statistics
  • victimization


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