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‘Schoolies Week’ on the Gold Coast, Australia

Madura Pathirana, Noel Scott, British School of Commerce, Sri Lanka.

Summary

‘Schoolies Week’ on the Gold Coast, Australia, is an annual celebration by students completing high school. These 17–18-year-olds want to celebrate their freedom and the completion of an important stage of their lives. For some students this may be their first time away from home with their friends. For most students it is a time of celebration, but they are sometimes criticized for drinking alcohol, taking drugs, indulging in underage sex and high-spirits partying. This may cause problems for residents and other tourists. The newspaper coverage of Schoolies Week is mostly negative and detracts from the destination’s image. After some years grappling with Schoolies Week, the Queensland State Government intervened to provide a safe environment for these celebrations. They created several ‘diversionary’ events to provide activities for ‘schoolies’, and there is a large police presence as well as many volunteers to support those who are drugged or drunk. How do you think Schoolies Week should be managed?

Information

10.1079/tourism.2021.0024

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