Second-residents on the Flemish Coast: tourists or residents?

In 2007 Els Roose wrote a thesis for obtaining the degree of “master in tourism” under the title above. For that dissertation, Els Roose did a study on the integration of second-residents in Oostduinkerke. The conclusion of that study was: “A second-resident distinguishes himself from tourists by the recurring relationship, which builds a familiarity with the environment and can create friendship between neighbours, local traders, inhabitants or other second residents”. Also: “Residents do not want to be considered as tourists but as part of daily life in the local community. After all, after a few years, they have built up a familiarity and bond through their frequent visits”. Finally: “As the months or years of discovery pass, linked to the frequency and intensity of visits, second-residents become familiar with the second residence. At this stage, they have already discovered a great deal in the municipality and have therefore built up a greater knowledge of the region than a tourist. They show a clear interest in the area and inform themselves. In the meantime, they have discovered permanent shops, restaurants and leisure facilities. They find there a certain stability, a second home. Not only can they be familiar with the municipality at this stage, but they can also be connected to it, even if they are not staying there permanently”.

For the full study in Dutch, click here.