The study of the relationship between crime and tourism has attracted the attention of scholars over time. Different aspects have been studied on the topic such as the link between these two concepts in different destinations, or the effects of fear of crime on tourist behaviour; furthermore a classification of the relationship between crime and tourism has been developed (Ryan, 1993; Dimanche and Lepetic, 1999; Kathrada, Burger and Dohnal, 1999; Pizam, 1999; Levantis and Gani, 2000; Mawby, Brunt and Hambly, 2000; Alleyne and Boxill, 2003; Michalkó, 2003; Tynon and Chavez, 2006).
Although the study of this relationship is not new, it must be pointed out that in literature nobody has specifically taken into account the relationship between organised crime and tourism. Just Pizam and Mansfeld (2006) explicitly considered organised crime with reference to crimes committed against businesses; thus the relationship between organised crime and tourists’ perception is completely missing from literature.
In order to bridge this gap, this research aims to understand whether tourists’ perceptions towards organised crime influence their travel behaviour. In order to do so this research is focused on the Italian organised crime. In particular, the present work investigates the influence that tourists’ perceptions have on: 1) the choice of visiting or not the South of Italy; 2) the activities carried out or the destinations visited during the travel; 3) the behaviours following the visit in terms of return to the destination; recommendation of the destination to relatives and friends; posting reviews on social media; deepening the personal knowledge on topics related to the Italian organised crime.