Resort town

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Not to be confused with Tourist village.
Heiligendamm in Germany, established in 1793, the oldest seaside resort in continental Europe
Aerial view of the Cancun island, from the top of the Torre Escénicain May 2008
Railway station in Tatranská Lomnica ski resort, Slovakia

A resort town, sometimes called a resort city or resort destination, is a town or area where tourism or vacationing is a primary component of the local culture and economy. Most resort towns have one or more actual resorts in or nearby, although some places are considered resort towns merely because of their popularity among tourists.

Typically, the economy of a resort town is geared almost entirely towards catering to tourists, with most residents of the area working in the tourism or resort industry. Shops and luxury boutiques selling locally-themed souvenirs, motels, and unique restaurants often proliferate the downtown areas of a resort town.

Resort town economy[edit]

If the resorts or tourist attractions are seasonal in nature (such as a ski resort), resort towns typically experience an on-season where the town is bustling with tourists and workers, and an off-season where the town is populated only by a small amount of local year-round residents.

In addition, resort towns are often popular with wealthy retirees and people wishing to purchase vacation homes, which typically drives up property values and the cost of living in the region. Sometimes, resort towns can become boomtowns due to the quick development of retirement and vacation-based residences.[1]

However, most of the employment available in resort towns are typically low paying and it can be difficult for workers to afford to live the area in which they are employed.[citation needed] Many resort towns have spawned nearby bedroom communities where the majority of the resort workforce lives.

Resorts towns sometimes struggle with problems regarding sustainable growth,[2] due to the seasonal nature of the economy, the dependence on a single industry, and the difficulties in retaining a stable workforce.[citation needed]


In most democratic systems a voter must reside primarily only in one place, and vote only for local government representatives in that place. However, in Alberta, Canada, there is a special type of municipal government for holiday areas called a summer village which allows non-permanent residents to vote for the council even if they only live there part-time.

Examples of resort towns[edit]

Grand Hotel Kurhaus in Resort architecture style, in Binz, Rugia Island (Germany)


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  2. ^ MATR News: Resort towns struggle with growth
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