The Pleasures of Nightlife Tourism
Centre for Alcohol and Drug Research Aarhus University Copenhagen, Denmark
Vacations at international nightlife resorts form an important and valued element in the lives of youth in many countries. Resorts are located throughout the globe in places such as Cancun in Mexico, Had Rin in Thailand, Ibiza in Spain and Sunny Beach in Bulgaria. All kinds of risky behavior have been associated with these tourist destinations including immoderate drinking, drug use, fighting, and sexual promiscuity. This dubious reputation does not scare away young tourist, perhaps quite to the contrary.
The paper will shed light on the behaviour and experiences of young Danish tourists at the nightlife resort, Sunny Beach. Focus is on youth in the ages between 15 to 30 years. It is argued that the notion ?effervescence? captures some of the essence of what young Danes strive for and occasionally experience at Sunny Beach. The young deliberately let go of their self-control and indulge in systematic transgressions of norms and rules. Relatively few of the tourists use drugs, but the majority engage in heavy binge drinking. Sexual experimentation is also common. The paper will draw on various thinkers who have written about effervescence including Emile Durkheim, Georges Bataille and Michel Maffesoli.
The paper is based on fieldwork at Sunny Beach during the summers 2007 and 2008. The author of the paper and four assistants collected the data. Various methods were used including surveys, field observations and tape-recorded interviews.