Beach safety and millennium youth: Travellers and sentinels
Sun, sand and surf remain a major attraction for young travellers worldwide. Indeed, beaches are a key competitive feature for many tourist destinations wishing to capture the youth market. Ironically, young people between the ages of 18 and 34 years, which includes the oldest of the Y-Generation cohort, and especially males and international tourists generally, are specifically identified as 'at risk' groups for drowning. This chapter examines the characteristics of Millennium Youth or Gen-Y travellers in relation to beach safety, including issues of language barriers, unfamiliar environments, unfamiliar activities and holiday behaviour, such as alcohol use, that place them at risk. In this chapter, members of Generation Y are identified as those born between 1982 and 2002. The chapter also describes the bestpractice risk-management initiatives in place to safeguard young travellers at the beach. The focus here is on the next generation of surf lifesavers, themselves Millennium Youth, who are highly trained and voluntarily give their time during the summer months to patrol Australian beaches. According to Martin and Tulgan (2001), these young people are part of a generation leading a new wave of volunteerism. However, there are unique challenges in retaining these sentinel volunteers. The chapter describes the role of sporting events and emergency-service training that shape the role of patrolling lifesavers and contribute to the generation's concern for personal and public safety.
Tourism and generation Y
Tourism not elsewhere classified